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tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 5, 2012 8:00pm-1:00am EDT

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>> in a few moments come at a hearing on homelessness among better read. in less than two hours, they headed the irs on the tax provisions in the agency's customer service. after that, president obama signs the job act into law, a bill designed for small businesses to raise money from investors. >> the u.s. senate youth program.
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just being able to meet them and talk to them. >> we talked about how important it is to be financially sound. devoting money to national defenses will be worthless because a lot have any money to devote to it. share the experiences as the interacted with members of congress and the president. >> he said there is a lot of partisanship going on. i am the one across the aisle. it kinda makes me wonder if he is saying that but it is not actually happening. i never really thought about that. >> the u.s. senate youth program.
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quite the veterans affairs committee recently looked at homelessness among veterans. it talked about getting help from the be a. the obama administration has established a program by ending veteran, says by 200019. this is two hours. >> the morning, everyone. thank you for turning out for this very important hearing today. it goes without saying that no one who has sacrificed to serve our nation should ever be without a roof over their head. he laid out the goal ofd secch getting rid of, says in five
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years. today's hearing will examine the progress made as well as the opportunities moving forward, particularly the woman's veteran space. they recently announced a number, as veterans drop by 12% to a little more than 67,000. they deserve to be commended for the progress they have made. challenges remain. there remain focused on in new and growing segment of the homeless veteran population. like their male counter parts, they face many of the same challenges that contribute to their risk of becoming homeless. they're serving on the front lines. they're facing some of the harshest realities of war. they are experiencing a military sexual trauma, suffering from
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anxiety, and having trouble finding a job that provides stability to ease their transition back,. they have needs that are unique from those of male veterans. they found in a report released some monday, some of the needs are not being addressed. they found there were serious concerns for homeless women veterans, especially those who have experienced military trauma. they found better terms and bathrooms without sufficient locks and lighting. they also felt the va should do a better job at targeting places of populations that need help the most. in edition, they released a report that cited them for the lack of gender specific privacy,
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safety, and security standards. i sent a letter seeking answers to a number of questions it raised. they are reviewing their data collection process in order to capture more information. they are working to develop and provide training for staff to better treat veterans to treat traumatic events. as more women began transitioning home -- from home, and we must be prepared to serve the unique challenges as we learn about the alarming number of homeless women veterans. we must make sure the va is there to meet their needs. we cannot violate their trust
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when we place them in housing facilities are when they receive care. i am awful that today we can explore these issues during today's hearings. i am so pleased that courageous women like those that are joining as i have come forward to help give us the firsthand account of the challenges that we need to meet. as the va continues to make progress, challenges remain. we are still facing unacceptable numbers of chronically homeless veterans. of this group often has complex combinations of issues including addiction and mental and physical health issues. all have been felled by a system that let them slip through the cracks. it is critical that we continue
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to look for productive ways to get them off the street. this will take a concerted effort from the homeless programs. it'll also take collaboration from all of the programs. ine could today's economy -- today's economy, it helps veterans and their families remain in their palms. it is important to focus on getting earned benefits. for homeless veterans, these befits to make the difference in avoiding homelessness are becoming trapped in a cycle that keeps them on the street. we have been making progress at ending better and homelessness. there are permit housing programs. we must ensure we do not lose sight of the need to have
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programs that match their needs. i had my staff to an exhaustive review there were opportunities to improve the program by providing a more guidance to providers and the staff who works with them. today's hearing gives them another opportunity to better understand the current situation . >> thank you. i like to welcome all of our witnesses today.
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thank you for your willingness to share your story and experiences with us. it is important we hear firsthand from our veterans and how it'll affect a lot of the policies and problems. i would like to extend a warm welcome from north carolina. thank you for your involvement and services. i would like to welcome our boston regional office. i am looking forward to hearing that testimony. thank you for being here. for many years of dedicated service, there are a few issues that we care more about. it is ending the monks are men and women. it is almost 65,000 veterans on
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any given night. in massachusetts we're trying to do a better and work on it. i know congress has provided over $400 million increases for homeless veterans. bba has given service to assist homeless veterans. in light of the recent report, i am concerns about these programs. it is great to have additional funds. i know there are lots of nonprofit groups that are trying to do their best as well. i am quoting it. they do not have the information needed to allocate grants to minors and retract progress.
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the second finding is fining the safety of women veterans. they found 22 hamas beam of veterans are faced in a facility that was approved for only male veterans. this is unacceptable. -- they found 22 of a homeless veterans arreplaced in a facility that is approved for only male veterans. this is unacceptable. they're providing housing to veterans that are not homeless. 1/4 the veterans are not homeless by entering the program. this goes to oversight. what progress has been made, pointing to the 12% decrease on any night does not provide the
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picture. i am looking for to doing this. how can they have this without accurate data? do they know the living situation? the fall of there is very important. reality to make sure that this is being used efficiently. they'll have the opportunity to get these very real answers. >> thank you very much. we will turn to our opening statement. >> thank you for your leadership. this is still a persistent
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problem. i appreciate the work the va has done. this is one of the best of veterans outreach programs for the homeless of any place in the country. the number, as women veterans has more than doubled. to understand it is not just the va. it is not all hands approach. it is not just homeless programs like food and shelter. the reintegration program is designed to provide the support assistant needed for veterans to obtain economic stability. the administration must be the leader and the coordinator of these efforts. i would like are witnesses to think about how we can
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coordinate these programs so they are not overlapping or are not missed a gaps. we are reaching every veteran and every veteran's family. today second panel will have this. i'm glad she has come forward to tell her story. her story is similar of that service member. they serve bravely in uniform. she was mobilized. she was sent to iraq and kuwait. she found a job in in santa. -- jobin atlanta. she still needed to travel to cleveland to do her commitment. she was eventually let go by her
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employer in a state. she found the homeless [inaudible] she got the help she should have received much earlier. she has gone through the initial stages. she is now staying with their sister until the voucher process is complete. that can be as early as this week. she's also engine with your employers to a full-time job. i hope this will be a success story. she deserves what she earns. her testimony shows a moral commitment to our country that so many veterans have accepted.
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she surge again and is serving now. thank you to center for this. >> i would like to thank you. we are pleased to have sandra strickland. she will speak to us about her experiences as a homeless veteran. thank you for your willingness to come here and share your story. after that we will hear from the executive director of ash fell. he is accompanying the coalition for homeless veterans. she's testifying on behalf of the vietnam veterans of america.
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will then hear from linda. it is good to have you here. we will be gimmicky. thank you so much for coming in sharing your story. >> you're welcome. i am an army veteran. i have served here for 2.5 years. i served in germany imported taxes. i was not able to go to desert storm but i did transition out and moved to virginia to open up my own business. my husband and i had issues. i was involved in a domestic violence situation. i left the home with my two children ages 7 and 5.
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i did stay at a domestic violence shelter. i am familiar with how a shelter is. i never thought i would be homeless. i have 20 + years in the administration. there's a wealth of experience. normally when you think of a homeless person, you think about a person on the issue with a sign. he never think about a person that has a life, a mother. i think they do not use the mall veterans as this. i was able to start working at a temporary agency. it was not full time. it was enough to get me started. i was able to get a full-time position at the time i was
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working on. an apartment for me and my children. i am looking at unemployment. i was unemployed for six months. i did get unemployment compensation. it did end. a splinter custody issues with my children. i was not able to maintain custody because of my situation. it was a long struggle. but that i was facing homelessness. i got in contact with an organization that assists female veterans in obtaining suitable housing. that is where i am right now. my road to homelessness, i feel there are not enough funds being sent to the private
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organizations. the organization i was in, it was used to help the victim. when you're homeless, you feel dehumanize. i think it will be more support for us. our voices need to be heard. as far as when i reached up to the veterans administration, i thought i would be able to get assistance. at the time, they cannot give me a list of shelters to go to. i did not have a full-time job. where are the resources? there's no one to direct us. that i do notlight
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think our society has a clue as to what it is. you tend to not want to reach out. people tend to treat you differently. they treat you like you are an outcast. i did reach out to an organization to get help. they were able to help me. the funds were dried up. i am facing eviction. i had two children need to worry about. i just feel there needs to be a voice as far as the mall homelessness. if i were facing this situation that i had to go to a shelter, i would have basically just stayed in my car. a shelter went to previously, it
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was cold. in december 2010. the blankets that they gave us was very very thin. we were able to work in the pantry. they had donated a lot of new comforters. i asked the manager if i could get some blankets for my children. i did not care about myself. my children were freezing. she said that we cannot. she gave me little baby blankets. i said there are comforters in the pantry. why can i have some of those tathose? she said those a for someone else. i said to? -- who? why are we sitting in blankets letter paper thin. the organization that i am in now, i do not look at it as a shelter. it is a transitional home. i look at it as a home.
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i do not know what i would have done had that organization not been there for me. and that with the owner -- i met with the owner. she made me where it was a two- year program. in still looking for full-time appointments -- i am still looking for full-time employment. i am working at a temp agency. that was my saving grace. the program that is there, when shelters to extend their hand to help a homeless person, they should have resources in place to not enable them to stay homeless but provide resources that would get them on their feet to be able to become self- sufficient. the support, i cannot stress or
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talk about the support for the homeless people. a woman veteran is different than a woman. we have unique needs. i think that needs to be addressed. >> thank you very much. we appreciate your testimony. >> thank you for those kind words. it is my honor to present this testimony and the bulk of the minister.
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i'm here on the nascent coalition of homeless this. this is one who i am happy to call my friend. all of us providing service to veterans are commited to the five-year plan to end homelessness for all of our veterans. we have about 200 men and about a dozen women veterans in separate facilities. last year none could 2011, they ended homelessness for 302 veterans there are jobs program. jobs average $14 an hour. it was the cause of about $1,100 per placement.
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they also placed 87 disabled veterans into permanent support of housing. we ended homelessness for 389 of the 407 veterans research last year. how do we do this ta? it is laid out here was several principles. it is our support of 300 churches, congregations, and faith groups to come together to join the government's efforts in ending homelessness. we engaged in about 3200 volunteers just an hour restoration quarters. these congregations and volunteers did not just received
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these dollars from the va and department of labor, but they matched them. they are there with their food, their clothes, their financial support. the volunteer time for training and mentoring so that we are doubling the impact of those resources to provide not only the professional staff services but especially that boundless energy from our volunteers. we really have strong support empresses a patient from the organizations like the american legion and the military officers association. are formally a homeless veterans have a culture of giving back. they do not want to leave anyone behind. they say it begins with our
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formally veterans here at the front desk who are saying to others welcome home. they are giving back. they put together the post 526. they were the first as we understand it to receive their national charter and operate out of a homeless facility. it is also our local continuum of care. i think all of our folks for
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their support. these principles can be summed up in a couple of words. one is respect. respect for every veteran to make their choices. these are laid out beautifully by the grand per diem program. it has the flexibility to build on local innovation. three is building on an incentive based culture by rewarding those who take responsibility for themselves and others. four is working on the rapid rehousing strategies that reduces the need for a transitional housing. we put back into homes 276 persons last year which kept us from having to build another 300 bed shelter. we have cemented supported --
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our own, saysed prevention. we hope you might consider adding three other items. first is a cost-of-living adjustment and the grant per diem for more innovative funding that would provide and utilize the partnership between the medical centers and a local percenters --. thanks again for your commitment to our veterans and implementing
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the principles that will help us all and homelessness for our veterans. as a pastor, madam chairman, i will be -- continue to pray for your wisdom and encourage this committee and our congress to offer the best to our veterans. thank you for giving us in the tools to serve. >> thank you very much. >> good morning. thank you, senator. for allowing me to talk on behalf of veterans for america. thank you for all the great support you have given. it has been a tremendous opportunity for the veterans and has seen great advantage. i also would like to, mr. brown mentioned, the snap sought picture of a number of homeless veterans that exist today is 67,000 plus.
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it is a snapshot. what it does show is that there has been an impact made by the additional care assistance services and programs that have been coordinated to work at helping to end homelessness. we have seen that these programs are doing something. although i have full testimony, which goes into great detail, i will try to be very concise. a housing model, which is a great push right now, it is a monster push right now, and it is in fact a beautiful house in model for veterans that fit in it. it is also one that is of great advantage to women veterans. they can have their children with them. they do not have to disrupt the family situation. the kids can stay in school. but it does not fit all
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veterans. not even all women veterans. there are many veterans that are quite honorable and that we cannot dismiss the opportunity -- or i should say, the responsibility -- of not eliminating or disintegrating and housing-ready model for some of these veterans. even when the secretary first came out on eliminating homelessness, he said do not close all the doors. there are doors that should be left open because many veterans will have to find their way to the right one. by placing some of these veterans and housing-first model, we are setting them up for failure and back to the streets. i would like to make a couple comments about the program. because, in fact, non-profit agencies without them,. the attack on homelessness for
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veterans would be a great issue. -- greater issue. there are a few situations across -- that cause great concern or a great impact. one is the ability to approve -- request an increase for the program. in order to get the per diem increased, nonprofits submit their last year's audit to show they need more money. non-profit agencies do not have the pleasure of hiring staff and augmenting program designed up front in order to show there is a law, because now, in the cases of some nonprofits, they have lost their lines of credits and banks. they pay interest rates that are
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not reimbursable. so i have proposed in my testimony a piece that could be worked into the situation where we can, as we have with other federal agencies, nonprofits request. i describe that in my testimony. another is the residential payments that we have to be docked -- the doctor the payments as a residential payment if they are in a nonprofit program, a residential program. that brings down in the cost of the program for the agency. if that could be eliminated, a nonprofit agency, especially those with one -- more than one program, it is very difficult to have a program if you cannot help to utilize these moneys that are discretionary to keep the entire agency afloat because
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if that agency is solvent, it cannot operate the program. it is a handicap to those agencies that have many programs to have to deduct residential payments. we believe there is an issue with consolidation of grant podium " projects grant per diem approach projects. these two brands have separate project numbers which have to be turned in and provided per diem payments based on percentages, and those non-profit receive several different percentage based on the differences in the project numbers and they still have the same garbage collected and the same staff and eat the same food. another is the grant per diem service centers.
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they are the gateway in from the streets to the housing-first model. i will ask you to look at the testimony to see this evidence of those programs. some are seeing up to him a thousand -- 1000 veterans. $4 in change does not make it for the veteran that comes in for one hour and a staff past work for two days to get them housing. we believe we have a great opportunity to expand the use of the service centers. that is outlined in my testimony. we believe the scope of their ability -- and authority needs to be extended so that veterans who are placed in housing-first can get the place management they need to stay there so they can come back to the service centers and continue that process. we are looking into how we can utilize those and more if the program to become homeless prevention.
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grant per diem did not put out any grants for the new programs. >> if we could get you to wrap up your testimony. i want to make sure we get to all of our witnesses. >> yes. i dress military drama programs. if we could extend the deal well opportunities for veterans. and of course the reports i mentioned in testimony. i appreciate being able to be here. i encourage the committee to look at the opportunity for nonprofits to continue to assist in this realm. thank you, ma'am. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for the opportunity . discuss the oig'weres
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-- oig's work. the grant program is the largest of several virginia homeless programs -- several va calmest programs. -- homeless program. we reviewed community agencies in fy 2011. to assess whether program funding was successfully aligned with a program priorities. when identified opportunities and made recommendations to strengthen congressional oversight. -- prevention and oversight.
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-- prevention oversight. to measure bed capacity and the needs services, to accurately report a outcomes report out -- report outcomes. and improved oversight of the providers participating in the program. we found vha lacked guidance for things expected for homeless operations, such as female veterans living in transitional housing. almost 1/3 to not adequately
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address safety services. halls and stairs without sufficient lighting. female and male residents on the same floor without access restrictions. we also found that 27% of the program providers did not ensure the safe storage of homeless- medication. a review of dietary report services showed 12% of providers did not consistently offer adequate and meals that were nutritionally balanced inappropriate for homeless veterans. again, we saw the grant applicants were not required to describe how they would provide meals or how they would meet the
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special dietary needs. such as managing diabetes in their grant applications. vha needs to strengthen its oversight of the grant program, specifically meeting to assure it was aligned with goals. 26% of the veterans information was inaccurate. in more than half of the cases, vha k c manages inaccurately reported that a successfully creek -- it successfully completed the program. more management attention is needed to address the quality of program information relied upon to make decisions. another important step in helping veterans transition to vba's dent living eis
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efforts. we have issued nine inspection reports that it found that four of nine va regional offices did not insufficiently have outreach services for veterans. va is taking actions to ensure the safety security and health and welfare veterans, and we expect a refund at -- the recent efforts will help to deliver effective services to help homeless veterans and the funding is used as intended. thank you for the opportunity to discuss our work. we would welcome any questions you may have. >> thank you very much for your work on this. let me start with you. you contacted the va and ask for help. obviously, they said to you, nothing.
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you got no response >> it to me, their basic concern was my mental health. i shared with them everything that was going on the street and their first question was, are you mentally stable? >> what do you think they should have said when you first call. -- called? >> what do you need? not what i wonder what they wanted for me, what i needed. if they were able to provide the resources themselves, provide resources that i could reach out to -- i was not even given that. i just feel there should be some type of partnership. if they are not able to provide the assistance, then they should work with us as partners.
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asian not just hang up the phone and make me feel hopeless, because that is what i felt. >> your testimony is very i opening. telling someone they will be someplace policing without a lock on the door -- sleeping without a lock on the door. insufficient lighting. what would that type of environment mean to you? >> an unsafe environment? >> yes. >> i would have stayed in my car. it is different when you have children. of course i think of my safety, but i think of my children, as well. there are programs, but not enough, for women with children. i could have gone to other shelters but i could not have taken my children with me. and a female, just from being a woman, you want to be able to feel that when you go to a shelter that you have adequate
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such it -- adequate safety. >> what would that have meant for the women who live in your facilities? >> let me just say, we do have at the agency, a 30- transitional program exclusively for women veterans. i believe that in some cases, women do come there because it is a place that they know is safe and they know is secured. we take great attention to that. i think one of the situations that exist is that there are so few of these programs in the community that are exclusive to women veterans that are designed for them to address their tremendous needs. that is one of the shortfalls, also. >> reverend, what is the importance of safety, security, and basic things like that for your clients? >> it is absolutely paramount.
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we felt like it took two years for us to learn that trust. and making sure we could commit the amount of resources that were needed. that is why i ask you all to consider some kind of a challenge grant. the community wants to respond, because the number of response of women and children are low. even though we have them housed separately and they are able to have their own rooms and facilities, it is at a much greater cost. with a little bit of extra help from this committee and from congress, we can provide not only that safety and security, but then also really address the professional needs a around sexual trauma, having well- trained staff, being able to really train our volunteers. i have women who want to mental -- to mentor other women, but do not always understand the level of complexities of that trauma. we would like to be able to
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have the funding and support, and we believe we can get it matched by the community with some leadership here. because we do not believe in the entitlement system, but we do want you to help us create the incentives, but with the funding to overcome the smaller numbers but dealing with more complex issues. >>: of the va inspectors made it clear they need more. we have found disincentives for homeless people to seek va's housing. my question to all of you is, what would you do -- what would you direct the va today to preserve homeless veterans.
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what would it be? >> provide adequate programs that can deal with the unique needs of female veterans. the basics. safety, security, locks, privacy. then, resources to help us get back on our feet, to become self-sufficient, so we do not stay homeless. >> certainly, the issue of the security really impacts the ability to focus on the programs they have. i think it is very important that the of the va truly does se oversight on what they have to remold and work with some of the opportunities they have in front of them.
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i think the addition of some extra funding to the special needs grants, to those programs that want to do the work with women's veterans, which can be quite costly, because the staff that is needed and the support that that grant allows for assistance to families while they took care of the children, while the women were attending to some very specific and very, you know, important work in the mental health field. i think -- to really make an evaluation of how many military sexual trauma specific residential treatment programs there are in this country and the fact that if they are, how do they expect a homeless women to get into them and travel to them. >> i want to say, thank you for your courage and i want to say i am sorry for your experience. we simply ask the va to be right
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there with us. what the medical center in nashville does, is a train their staff. their staff are with us as much as three and four days a week in our facility, working both with our women and our man, but they are also they're saying we are going to be the advocate, right alongside us as a faith-based and other community-based providers. i think is when they exhibit and put in place the men and women professionals with that same passion, that it really makes a difference. nobody can underestimate the power of saying, welcome home, veterans. >> we would like to say that we would like to see the be a transition -- va transition.
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we would like to see incentives put in place for special needs to ensure that female veteran's needs are met. i think you would have possibly to explore using contracts outside of the grant per diem program, to meet the needs of female veterans, especially when they do not represent a large number. it would be smaller and get better economical solutions. >> can't you. first of all, i read your testimony. thank you for sharing your personal experiences. i commend you for your grit and perseverance, notwithstanding all the challenges you had and continue to have. i read with interest your new situation, where you are now. you are still there? >> yes. >> how do you find that program
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in terms of getting you to that path to independence? how are you moving along? how are you dealing with your financial assistance? how're things working out with the kids? where are you in terms of your balance in your life? how was that coming along? >> right now, i am on the path to becoming self-sufficient. i am still working with a temp agency, so i do have consistent employment. i am still currently seeking full-time employment. in the interim, i continue to press on. the program that i am man, it is a unique program because because it is catered to the specific needs of the person. there are four females in the home and we all have a unique situation. we are actually told to give a
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plan of what we intend to do it. it two years that we have a program. with that, they cater to what our specific needs are. mine, of course, was continue my hunch rainier shipping, to maintain and get the physical these for my children and providing resources as far as obtaining a lawyer for me as far as the contra nor -- congress is quite content to be able to further do that. i do not have any mental health issues. but they have set me up with a mental worker that i can talk as far as support. i said, when you are homeless, it is one thing, but when you
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are dealing with other emotional issues, it is another. >> looking at your challenges here, being homeless, and dealing with children's issues, which is the one issue, you can survive and do a thing, but when you throw in children and not wanting to lose them and keep the family unit together, and having a possible threats against your life and your safety and security. as i said, thank you for sharing that steering. -- that story. i was disturbed when i read that you called the va for help, they basically put you off. what we are hearing a lot, whether it is dealing with claims, these types of assistance issues that lack a personal touch his sometimes is all you need. they could say listen, we cannot have the ability to take care of
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you because your situation, however, we have these people in your city or town and give you a whole list of contacts and follow-up with you in a day or two or three, none of that was really provided. is that accurate? >> correct. >> that is unacceptable. reverend, i know you have a big fan in this panel. he was nice enough to allow me to share this and i am honored to do so. i want to thank you for what you all do. what separates your program for mothers and why isn't this going viral all over the country? >> that is an excellent question. i really think that there is maybe not as much emphasis on the community-based and faith- based partnerships that can be put together. when you begin to really grasp what volunteers both from the
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fake community and organizations can do offering both professional training as well as a kind of support system, they respond many-fold. >> how do you deal with costs, too, in that model? >> thank you for asking that. we are paying the bills by doing both. once they are exposed to the needs of our veterans, they see both the gaps between what our cramped -- grant per diem funds or other funds can provide. for the homeless veterans for integration program, we had more veterans applying for education, and i am talking about quality certification skills and health care and internet technologies and transportation.
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but when a license costs $4,000 right up front, we found ourselves with some significant gaps. the committee responded and provided the extra dollars, so we have a friend down in hendersonville. jeff miller, who started operation, welcome home. the same with food and clothes. >> it is a community-based effort. everyone gives a little bit and at the end of the day, you are squared away? >> yes, sir. >> do you think they are taking the necessary steps to correct it. >> i think the va has worked with us very diligently to make those recommendations. i think the group in the headquarters has taken this seriously, realized they have problems, and has been very perceptive to do that. as far as our assessment as to
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how well it is implemented, it is too early. >> thank you. >> and thank you very much, but madame chair. -- very much, madame chair. chris does our homeless coronation for the state. we are very happy that they are here. it does not matter where you are, what say you are from, there is an issue in the struggle in challenge that we have with homeless veterans. first, thank you for your testimony. i read your testimony. incredibly impact full, and someone who personally has dealt with homeless veterans as a landlord, reaching out to veterans programs to try to get a more standard and in stable housing situations, i have seen
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it firsthand as a manager and operator of facilities, small apartments, to ensure they are able to move through and get some housing. but the ask you. you made some comments about what they can do differently. do you think, in your experience and this will actually go to you, do you think they have the capacity within you think they have the capacity to do the services that are necessary? as i was mayor, we put aside this whole debate over church and state. we had individuals and veterans that needed to be dealt with. we were not interested in hearing the philosophical debates. we are more interested in .earing what we could do a
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do you feel confident the va can would you do?encap index that may be a have a question. that is important, what is the right allocation of who should be doing what and out. it is not day va system by itself. >> it is a collective system. iif someone were to come to me and mention they were homeless, i would point them into the direction of the community-based organization. >> as your first choice? >> correct. if the va could partner with other organizations that can
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focus on the unique needs, the va is a big organization. there are a little teeny bits that need to be addressed. >> we have a program in anchorage. we worked with a group called save harbor. this is for families. the costs for dade was maybe $15 for the agency. at any moment, someone could transition there quickly, a
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community kitchen and environment. they would bring in folks to work with people to ensure they have jobs or education or whatever they're looking to do. i think it is an incredible model. it was not a government run. it is a mixture between foundations and faith based. that is how the va the partner. they want to do well. i know that. do they have the ability to do it? do they need to rethink this model in a little bit more? are they too bureaucratic? de think they can do it?
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>> that is a good question. right now we believe that the va does not have the information it needs to really assess where it needs these services. the applications are cemented. it does not mean all the areas that need these services are getting them. i would say they probably have to look outside the model. >> do you think they have the capacity to do that? >> yes. it will come down to the coordination and getting the office of rural health to work with the programs to deal with the tribal governments. to there has to be coordination. i do think they have it. right now they do not have all the information they need.
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they can better assess where the needs are and deliver the right services. >> thank you. that is the crux of it all. if they cannot get there, all the reports we do will be reports. it is our job to have this oversight to make sure they make it to the next you see where it works and does not. where do we direct them? we want community services in the mix. >> thank you. >> i thank you for holding this hearing. it is absolutely vital. welcome. i welcome all of our witnesses today. it struck me as i read the
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testimony and heard most of you ies. your verbal testimony i we had tea did you entities looking at different things. -- two different entities looking at different things. they're looking at homelessness from the standpoint of what they can do to affect the rest of their lives. we have a va focused on what the crisis du jour has today, a somewhat ignorant of what tomorrow has in store. i think it gets to some degree as what they have identified. i think there is a deep willingness on the part of this committee to try to bring these two things into one alignment.
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it shocks me to some degree that we seem to be ignorant of the successes that existing communities all across the country. by no means do i think this is intentional. i think every member of this committee can highlight a successful program number of communities they live and represents. i am not sure they are any better than what we do not come national. it is the vision of purchasing a bankrupt hotel or motel to open up a veterans outreach program. the fact that we have a va facility that understands the
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problem to in a non-traditional way with a community organization to the degree they have now placed a nurse on your campus which eliminates the challenge of transportation. you're able to convince them why that benefits their overall delivery of care. you're actually able to treat people before they are in crisis. i can not thank you enough for your personal observations, insight into how you lived. i would hope your testimony and others inspired the va to look within. you can take the reports. if they do not do everything right.
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you said if they cannot do this alone. >> they cannot. >> i think to some degree it is reinforced by the a.i.g. report. my questions are pretty simple. do you feel the problems outlined in your testimony are problems specific to the grants and in per diem program or are they systemic throughout the homelessness program? the grant perd at diem program. that is where we identified the problems. we think that there are some of these issues that are impacting va's efforts in going forward. you have to have a need assessments to know where to deliver the services. we did not see this in place to
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make the decisions. >> of those that participate in your program, and how you measures successful outcomes? >> i want to say thank you for being such a champion of veterans' issues and such a wonderful champion for north carolina. the success that we measure really is built on the principles of the grant per diem program which calls as not all made to remove them through this continuum of care where we have benchmarks a round there's stability -- around their stability and placement in private housing, the but but but we do follow them as the program
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calls for up to 18 months-two years after they leave. it is following them for that time. this is where the department labor comes them. then go back 18 months and take our best at the men and women be placed in the workplace. they tell us that the in last one, at 87% of those were placed 18 months earlier are still on the job. we measure that success. our number was 76%.
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it is not only that. for us, there to other measures. first is a reintegration back into the community through not on the civic organizations but also their family. they have the internal and a external supports they need. last is one we have the opportunity to see them reintegrate. other times it is just reconnecting, as mrs. strickland' has. one of our most touching stories
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has come from one of our veterans to run kennedy and after completing the job and having the housing answered an e-mail that simply said "could you be my daddy?" it had a child in germany he was reaching out for the last time for him to connect with a doctor he had not seen since she was one year olds. then to have the chance to come and connect has been a by changing -- has truly been like changing for him. >> we're going to move through our second panel quickly. >> thank you very much. we appreciate all of you being here. it is so important that people such as yourself, you are bright and articulate, and you put a
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face instead of a number. we appreciate you having the courage to come and show us your particular problem so that we can help you and others as we move forward. we have a guy that we are very proud of in arkansas. tremendous motivational speaker. his comment was that the government has the want to but not the heart. we are desperately trying to get these things done. it does not the same as the good care that you get.
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we are moving to that. we're having good results. we have some problems. what do we do to ensure these programs are functioning well? there's always people that take advantage. did you find any criminal activity that bordered on that? didn't go that far? >> says our focus was on the quality of these services and not looking at any disparities with the mess he is, we do not have criminal activities. we brought him in from seattle.
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>> how do we do a good job of insuring that we don't have problems going forward? >> we have had serious discussions. they understand that they do need to have better oversight. we also have had a lot of discussions while weaver at the medical centers. i think folks of a local level, and they understand that they need to have supervision of the providers. some things we reported a pretty obvious. it was there when we walked in. it was obvious for us.
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other folks overlooked it. this is the oversight that is needed. them fromwe getkeep overlooking? >> its is pressure from the top to the bottom. >> he mentioned that we needed more innovative training in ptsd. can you give us some examples of what you are a leading to? >> he has reached out to the local community to help draw in both trained professionals and are there be an music therapy. we have a group that has approached us with the biltmore estate to offer equestrian training through their center.
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it is called operation pegasus. with a little bit of funding and support providing the flexibility, to both contract with those professionals to help us strain the volunteers a round best practices that have been nationally, westil believe we can impact not only our homeless veterans, but of course those just returning. those who are coming back, we find these different modalities to address our situation to clarify their situation to manage it. they soar. they do just fine. >> we have a series of votes
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beginning in 12 minutes. we want to move quickly. if we can move as quickly as possible and have our second panel see dick, i would ask for order in the room as we do that so we can make it happen as quickly as possible. if we can have our second panel come forward nbc did. i appreciate all of you taking time. if we can have order in the room. i am introducing the second panel picks and he knows his way a wound this staff. he is accompanied by the
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outreach coordinator. i want to thank you for your service to our country and your willingness to share your story. >> thank you. we appreciate the opportunity to be here. this committee has been a great aid to the effort may have made. let me thank the committee for what they have done. what you heard from the first panel is that there are things that are working in things that are not working as well as we want. the committee gave us the opportunity to move to the most important phase we are now into.
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that is prevention. the first two years is to build capacity. we did not have the capacity to deal of veterans who needed long-term housing. we now have this with pretty good effort going forward. we have been building treatment services. we think that turning this off as an excellent thing to do. we innovation not been doing it alone. this effort is all being done by community non-profit groups and organizations. we are partnering. i want to give you a couple of highlights.
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29,000 veterans and families have been housed under the program. over 11% of those have been women veterans. 28% have a child living with them or intend to have a child living with them. we believe that it is a good eliminate we're going to homelessness. we are doing more work. stopping the under veterans to get the treatment that they need will have some long-term dividends as well. the prevention mode is where we are going.
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that is the future of how we are ending homelessness. in the first reporting cycle that we had. the first report that 6291 participants, 420 veterans could serve. 545 women veterans were seen as women veterans. over 2000 sundered hundred what you're getting this. we believe that holding that family together and getting then the health care they need and the benefits they need, of those pieces is the most important piece. we had a witness previously he was talking about some of the
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difficulties she was having. this is exactly what they are trying to do. we appreciate what the committee has done. we appreciate what you and others have done. >> hello. i want to thank you for having me today. i started off as a veteran. i am from cleveland, ohio. i joined the military now could to thousand eight. i suffer many difficulties finding employment.
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i recently relocated to atlanta, georgia. i had an opportunity available for me almost immediately. during my process of living in georgia, a lot of different circumstances force me to buy back to ohio. that is where i was originally stationed. coming back to cleveland, it was hard to find a job. i bounced around from different relatives' homes. it became a burden. a lot of people that i knew suffered their own hardships. no one could afford to accommodate another. that forced me to contact the va. i contacted the a high a collision for the hamas. william directed me to a female by the name of tony johnson.
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she opened up a lot of possibilities for me to get back on my feet. she told me about the grant per diem program. i live in a woman's, shelter. there were other things that were available for me such as the employment connection. i met with a representative by the name of angela cash. she taught me get a job at the cleveland clinic. she offered me classis, a computer training, basically everything i needed to be able to be readily available for work. also, she had her own nonprofit
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organization known as the forever girls at part. they helped me get all of the things i needed for my apartment. i will be moving into my place as of friday if everything goes as planned. >> we heard from mr. quinn on the first panel. there is no help. this is a totally different story. it is unacceptable. what was the turning point that led you to the va? >> it is a very long time
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before the resources are actually known to me. and actually contacted military sources. what led me there was the fact that i was just tired of being homeless. i was tired and not having a stable job and having to ask people for things to thing. i am the type of person where i like to get everything on my mom. it was a challenge for me. i had to go to a shelter where it would be available. >> they found that they have to improve the way they serve homeless veterans. i am deeply concerned about
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women veterans being placed in a place with no privacy or locks on doors. it is implicit that it should be available. i understand the department is developing a new gender specific safety standards. i want that done quickly. i want to ask you, is that enough to make sure we have protection from registered sex offenders? are we following that? are we really making sure we are focused on these issues fac? >> they're working very closely on making those creations. one thing we're asking the
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committee to do is change the contract share. you have to have a serious mental illness diagnosis and able to give residential care. one of the issues is in some communities we may not have enough money to develop a whole program. >> let me be clear. it is very clear will be following this closely. we want to make sure this is a top item. >> i want to highlight something. there were deficiencies in our
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structures to how we attack the homelessness problem. you have done a lot to move as in right direction. i think it is very important to maybe get on the phone with people like scott rogers. those community partners you have, regardless of who looks at it, they checked the box as all the way around to figure out what is missing in the strategy of how to look at this in a holistic way. scott is a pretty assertive person. i have seen flexibility from a hospital and not think was possible.
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they cannot have accomplished what they had it been not have a partner of the va hospital working outside the box. what i want to urge you and your entire staff to do, let's start thinking outside the box on solving this. holding thing we're anyone to is to live within the chain whermark of the past. the secretary has stated he wants to end this. if we are going to end it, we have to work with my partners to think more outside the box and design things that may be unique to their community. if dole resolve the partnership with all aspects of the va. i am not sure that buy in exist
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today. if it does, it is because they convinced the local entity to do its. it would be much more natural if that was built into our model. i challenge you. let's reach out to these folks. let's understand what they need. as understand how we will be successful. >> thank you. we do have a series of budgets. a have to get to the floor for part of that. i want to thank all of our witnesses. we will continue to follow up with this. of thank you. i will be very quick. i will submit some from the record. i want to make sure any time we
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have these discussions they put on the record, i am requesting that we have additional vouchers. veterans are moving more toward rural areas. there is no other place more rural than alaska. i want to make sure that is clear. you have a really good program that is working out in alaska. this seems to be having some great success. here is my question. we have lots of programs in every state. do you have a process that we did a group of these organizations that on a regular basis are critiquing and adding
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information? they are looking at it. is there a model that says that may be the role of the beva is a granting sector? it will then connected these things. i use the catholic social service as an example. it seems to be a successful model. >> we also have it processed
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that occurs to each medical center. for local opportunity governments. i have been to a couple of these. this really is to makme the nees of the local community. the company made is correct. all of the prevention effort is commanding lead. >> i appreciate that. it is great. you have some caps for directed
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dollars. years ago, i had to manage grants. we put our capstan there. we really restrict the caps. social services will tell you that this was a problem. why not just eliminate those caps. he should do that immediately. >> the model if you will was taken after what was done on a community experience with the department of housing. this is the perspective of what we wanted to achieve it.
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we are always looking out what those needs are. there may well be some changes. >> that is the answer, flexibility. senator brown is on the list. >> i will be brief. that is know the facts nice to me any. it is a success story. -- i didn't know the facts. it is nice to meet you. it is a success story. how is working to improve the
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data collected said they have information to allocate the resources? this is based on the report saying the information is lacking. >> we have dangle collecting data for over 20 years. we're looking to roll over into the system and enhance the data we're asking for. there are their housing issues prior. what really what we're shooting for is connecting to the community and the lighting our data collection system with the hamas management system. it is so that we have been integrated collection system.
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but i apologize. people see me bouncing in and out. i am in a government hearing in the next building. i am trying to be in two places at once. i was concerned. the women ever to give it an average of four months before securing housing. what is being done to ensure that these women veterans receive a referral for ?ontemporary housing ta >> where have a referral system in place to either house veterans.
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there are housing a female veteran or in the veteran. we heard that there needs to be some improvements. we're working with our medical centers to continue. we are coordinating to do more contract residential housing so have those opportunities. >> how do we make sure that these veterans are actually homeless? how do we major that the veterans have access to per diem programs in underserved areas? >> one of the first things we have to do is this.
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how do we make sure it is in need. this has to be done by having people who can make the assessment to make sure the veteran is in fact a veteran and what services are appropriate for the veteran to recede. that is a process that takes a little bit of time. one of the things we do ask for is to have more staff who can make that assessment of the veteran being a veteran eligible. >> thank you for coming.
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it is cutting to the red tape. that is the biggest challenge. >> thank you. thank you. you put a statistic in there. this is so important. i think the report is disturbing and the senate staff and regards to the safety and security of women. especially as some of them having similar problems. we are very concerned.
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we have to figure how this is not tolerated. is there any congressional chills that we need to give you a with regard to dealing with that? do you need any additional legislation? >> we have some of our legislative issues we are bringing before the committee. one is to get more time a .enefits barrack if they get access to benefits quicker and faster, those things are very important. some do not have veteran papers on their first going and applying. >> what is the turnaround time?
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>> we need to verify veteran status. that is what our standard is. it is provided for. it is oftentimes debacle for us to make that determination. >> i have been doing this for a long time. -- it is oftentimes difficult for us to make that determination. >> i have been doing this for a long time. will have providers across the nation have the independence to work in ways that government cannot do.
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the difference is the state of arkansas and alaska. they're very different from rhode island and new york. we have to have program flexibility. >> thank you for your hard work. >> thank you very much. i will state the question any kid answered at a later time. with dealing with mental health services, this is a very alaska center question. it almost seems to me why replicate a system when there are the is one in the rural area.
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that is the question i'm going to submit. i want you to think about it again. how do we make one track and maximize the capacity? that is the question. >> we appreciate each of you being here and being part of this panel. we have more work to do. their understanding what more we can do. the committee looks forward to working on this issue now and into the future. this hearing is now adjourned. [captioning performed by
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national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> in a few moments come at the head of the internal revenue service and the agencies customer service. in an hour, president obama signs the jobs that into law. it is designed to make it easier for small companies to raise money from investors. after that, afghan military operations. than a forum on hydraulic factories a process of extracting national oil and gas. >> several live events to tell you about.
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here on c-span at 10:00 eastern, there is a panel of foreign-policy experts as to preventing nuclear terrorism. it is part of the national press club news makers. and what role will be played by afghanistan's neighbor, part to the early pakistan and iran. that is on c-span3. >> this saturday at noon, do in our live call-in program with distinguished navy seal chris kyle about becoming the most lethal sniper in american history. >> if you think of yourself as family and eight team, it is
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like we got a raise. our family got a raise. i felt that she had redefined providing to include what her husband did. >> the changing role of women as the breadwinners of the family and how that impacts their lives. he shares his thoughts on what should be done to avoid a similar fate. >> the head of the internal revenue service says the tax system will suffer some of again problems of congress waits until next january to deal with expiring tax provisions. douglas shulman discuss the
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record. this is one hour. >> that afternoon. welcome to the national press club. i am the 105th president of the national press club. we are the leading organization for journalists committing to our future programming such as these while fostering a free press worldwide. for more information, please visit our web site at to donate to our programs offered to the public, please visit i would like to welcome our speaker and those of you attending sunday's -- today's
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event. our table includes working journalist and club members. we noted that members of the general public are attending. it is not necessarily evidence of journalism objectivity. i would like to welcome our c- span a public radio audiences. our luncheons are also featured on our weekly pot cast -- podcast available aon itunes. after our speech concludes, that we will have a question and answer it segment. it is time for me to introduce our guest. i would ask you to stand up as your name is announced. washington editor. jennifer, a reporter "the bond buyer."
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scott, senior producer cnn. jeff schulman "father of irs commissioner." i am going to skip our speak for a moment. [applause] >> today's speaker said he prides himself on leading a non- political and non-partisan organization. in recent days, he has been very publicly involved in discussions at the highest levels of
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government about everything from health care reform to tea party politics. as the person in charge of collecting $2.40 trillion a good taxpayer dollars, his words are closely followed by many of us in the ring today. in the final year of his term as commissioner, doug shulman oversees 100,000 employees. he is managing 38 $300 million budget cuts and staff reduction in the thousands. -- $330 million budget cuts and staff reduction in the thousands. just a few weeks ago, he requested and eight is our budget increase from congress to make up for the losses. -- and 8% budget increase from congress to make up for the losses.
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he played an integral role in restructuring the organization. he led negotiations of the sale of nasdaq stock market and the american stock exchange, oversaw the launch of a bond market transparency, and modernize technology operations. earlier in his career, he was involved in several start of organizations. he held a bachelor's degrees from williams college. he has -- please give a warm national press club welcome to douglas shulman. but thank you so much.
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it is really great to be back on the national press club. i have done this the last couple of years. right as the rounds of filing season at the end. spring is a great time in washington. the flowers are blooming. anyone who visits washington also is always impressed by the permanence and the timelessness of the buildings, the statues, the colonnades. it really speaks to the legacy of this great nation. and in my job, as someone responsible for an important institution in government, it reminds me of the people who have come before me trying to make this government a little bit better and the country better.
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and it reminds me of the enormous progress that men and women have made over the years trying to move the nation forward. i am always impressed by the creativity and innovation that ec institutions, both private sector and -- that you see in institutions, both many of the statues that you see when you walk around washington are of men and women who were not a part -- not afraid to embrace new ideas, not afraid to challenge the past way of doing things and to come up with new ideas and move them forward. i am also a fan of continuous improvement. that is what we try to do at the irs. there are a number of great quotations about improvement, one is from ibm's thomas watson. he says that whenever an individual or a business decides that success has been
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attained, progress stops. i am a big believer that when your response before an institution like the irs -- responsible for an institution like arar's, the job is to build on the successes of the past and then try to push the agency forward to the next level. that is what i've tried to do with me and my senior team at the irs. if you look back at the irs, there is a lot of press coverage of the irs in the mid-1990s, and it was not all positive. since that time, there has been a major reorganization of the irs, and we have had a sustained arc of progress, very different from the beginning in the 1990's.
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if you look in the rearview mirror, there was a time the irs was thought of as an organization mired in the past, one that had not kept pace with advances in technology, one that was slow to adapt and embrace emerging best practices in things like analytics and compliance, and also in customer service, and one that was slow to recognize any vaulting taxpayer base, including increasing the fact that many of the taxpayers were operating in a much more global economy. but i would argue that standing before you today, standing on the shoulders of predecessors and others who moved the institution forward, we have made a lot of lasting progress at the irs that will serve the nation and the tax system well for the years to come. as irs commissioner, as teresa
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mentioned, it is a big institution. i have 100,000 employees. we view ourselves as a financial services institution. most of those employees are interacting, trying to get refunds back to taxpayers, in directing with businesses, nonprofits, moving vast amounts of money for over 235 million customers. people often ask me how you get an institution that big to move forward. i would argue that there are two key prerequisites. there are many pieces of that answer. first, you've got to set the right strategy, and make sure it is one that people inside and outside the institute -- institution can believe in and understand. and second, you have to stay very focused. i am a believer in a relentless and myopic focus on priorities, and not getting distracted by too many crises or incoming demands. and making sure that you
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communicate your priorities in a very clear manner. this is much easier said than done, especially in a large government agency where there are a lot of things coming at you. but say -- staying focused and consistent for multiple years is a key to success. today, what i want to do is share with you some of the results of four years of relentless focus on an handful of key strategic priorities that we set for the irs. these priorities were creating new capabilities and efficiencies through technologies, rethinking henry imagining our relationship with the paid -- rethinking and re imagining our leisure with the paetec prepare, leveraging debt to improve our operation, enhancing our service
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capabilities, transforming the agency to confront a global economy, and positioning the irs work force to make sure we are prepared for tomorrow's challenges. let me take them each in turn, and begin with our efforts to modernize our technology. and specifically focus on one critical program that we call the customer account data engine portlock or cade 2. many people have seen the footage from the 1960's. we're very earnest looking people who load huge tapes into mainframe computers. it is the first time we started using technology to perform than magical feat of automated data processing. if you fast forward 40 years, although the tapes are a lot smaller and there are no longer people moving the tapes but robotic arms, the irs is still
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actually operating with some of the core systems and basic technologies that were built in the 1960's. you might ask yourself why. that is a complicated question. there are at least three things. first, because it works. the irs was one of the first institutions to deploy data processing on a large scale. and some of our original technologies, ones that hold hundreds of millions of taxpayer accounts and billions and trillions of pieces of data on taxpayers, were truly engineering marvels of their time. the problem is, now there are not a lot of people who remember how to keep running those systems and those people are dwindling. it is hard to keep them up and running. the second reason our systems
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are so old is because we have actually built an elaborate set of your systems on top of those older systems. -- newer systems on top of those older systems. some of the things like running calls or exams elections are being run on top of the old systems. but we also have a complicated, in a related set of systems that when you try to unbundle those, it makes the job even harder. the third reason we have been operating on old technology is because there has been a reluctance to fund our technology in a way commensurate with our mission. we spend less than 3% of our budget on long-term enhancements to our information technology infrastructure. if you compare this to other private sector financial institutions, none of which come close to matching the number of customers that we need to support, that percentage is shockingly low.
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i would argue we have been underfunded for many years in the technology space. president obama has proposed a much-needed substantial increase in irs technology, really, reflecting in large part our critical mission. with all of these factors in mind, when i arrived at the irs, we initiated a broad review of our technology portfolio. and we pruned that portfolio. we shut down a bunch of projects -- back to focus. and we started focusing projects on the most visible and complex issue that had been holding us back for decades. since the 1960's, we have been conducting our core account processing on a weekly basis,
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weekly batch cycles. this process includes the basic tax information in your account, how much your balance is outstanding, whether you have made any recent payments. to put it into perspective, in the past when you sent in your tax return, we would receive it. it would be a week before we would process it and maybe another week before another piece of technology process it. if you called to check on it, we might say, call back in a couple of weeks when it is posted. i'm very pleased to report that this year, the irs successfully migrated from a weekly processing cycle to a daily processing cycle. this was a multi-year, incredibly complex undertaking, that went to the heart of our systems that process trillions of dollars in tax revenue. it is an incredibly important milestone for the irs, and one that we first embarked on in the late 1980's. the payoff from this improvement -- put your tax return processing for all taxpayers, up-to-date
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information at the fingertips of our account representatives, and a platform for much more real time data analytics and compliant. it is already benefiting taxpayers this year, and this upgrade in our technology is going to produce major benefits for the nation's tax system for years to come. our next long-term priority was looking at how we interact with paid a tax return preparers. let me tell you why we took this on. right now, many people in this room and across the country in the viewing audience are wrestling with and tackling one of the biggest financial transactions every year, that is, filing and paying your taxes, or hopefully getting a refund from the federal government. however, in the past 20 or 30
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years, the way the taxpayers go about finding their taxes has dramatically changed. today, nine out of 10 taxpayers use either a paid tax return preparer, or software that they have purchased to file their taxes. despite the fact that this is a huge financial transaction and now there is a set of intermediaries that actually facilitate the transaction, when i arrived at the irs, there were no basic competency requirements for tax return preparers. in most states, you need a license to cut somebody's hair. but just a few years ago, you did not need any sort of certification, testing, etc., or basic level of competency to file someone's taxes. i am the irs commissioner, bias that taxes are more important than how your hair looks. [laughter] other people view that differently. and i'm always looking for a
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point of leverage with the irs. where are we going to spend our limited resources? our return preparer initiative is just that. one way to look at it is that we shifted from a retail approach where we dealt with one taxpayer at a time into a wholesale approach, where we are starting to focus more on preparers, so we can deal with 100 or 1000 at a time. that is what i mean by leverage. to give you a sense of scale, 95 million individual and business income tax returns were prepared by paid preparers in 2011, and that does not include people who use do-it-yourself software. $5.70 trillion of income was reported through paid preparers. given the importance of the paid preparers to the tax community, we are now well on our way to ensuring that there
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is a basic level of competency in the tax preparer community. we have registered 840,000 tax preparers in the last year-and- a-half, and we have begun administering a competent to test and requiring continuing education for all prepares to are not cpa's, lawyers, or enrolled agents. our next priority is leveraging data analytics in order to continually improve our operations. we are very information
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intensive as an enterprise. and a key to our success is taking in the information, organizing it, and then analyzing it in a way that is intelligent, figuring out where to deploy resources and how we are going to act on the information. during the last couple of years, we have built a team of people with analytic expertise, and connected them very closely with our business units in an effort to continually improve operations. they're working on multiple fronts and have had a lot of impressive results for the nation's tax system. let me give you one example of how we are leveraging data analytics and how it connects into the last two things i talked about. using better data that we now have on return preparers that we have gotten from registering return preparers as well as faster processing cycles, so we can get that data more in real time tax returns because we have cade 2 plaze, we have applied advanced data analytics that show potentially serious compliance issues with the individual preparer who prepares them. what we identify -- once we identify these returns, we quickly have gone out to preparers can use a variety of compliance treatments -- and used a variety of compliance
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treatments to stop fraudulent payment, or if there are just mistakes being made, to alert people to the mistakes and get things fixed early in the filing season. but we are testing different techniques in a much more real time and based on those results, we will continue to feed that into our operations and leave of our programs. the results are still early. it is early in the process in the piece that we are doing this year. but as we have a continuous feedback loop of data analytics moving into places where we see noncompliance, we will drive that kind of learning into our operations. in addition to finding and stopping more fraud this year, by combining our data analytics
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team from our audits teams, are preparer teams, our technology teams cannot or ordaz we are building a lot of intelligence and -- technology teams, we are building a lot of ability to detect noncompliance and in act compliant earlier. the irs is not just about compliance. while popular culture links the three letters irs with compliance and enforcement, the truth is that the irs into racks with the overwhelming majority of the violations to agree on a customer service basis. and providing customer service is every bit as important to our mission as enforcing the tax laws. we provided numerous options for assisting taxpayers, from our publications to our website, to our toll-free line, to in person options. the list goes on. every year, the customer service at a section index measures -- customer service
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satisfaction measures customer service and satisfaction across a variety of industries and sectors of the economy. and it also does work with government agencies. we have a lot of madrak at the irs, but the main one that our senior management team, our oversight board tracks tuesday, how we are doing -- to see how we are doing generally is the customer's satisfaction index. in 1998, we hit rock bottom. on the index that goes to 100, we have 32. it showed deep dissatisfaction with the general interactions with the irs. but over time, we have moved forward and i'm very pleased that last year, 2011, we had an historic high of 73. that gives us a piece of feedback that across all of our programs, we continue to make significant progress in the customer service are we now. -- customer service arena.
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however, as leaders of a big organization, i remind our folks that we will never be satisfied. we cannot rest on our laurels. we have an ever-increasing job. we have been handed new responsibilities. the tax code is getting more complex. and the budget has recently been cut. we're going to need to stay on top of our game innovating if we're going to keep those scores going. that me mention a couple of innovations, the kinds of things you ought to keep doing at the irs. one is e-filing. it is one of the most successful programs in government. 15 years ago, 16% of taxpayers of electronically filed their returns. last year, 77% of individual
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taxpayers file their returns. this has great benefits for taxpayers. you get your refunds faster. all of the data comes in electronically, which -- rather than sending in a piece of paper that we code, that could have a coding error and cause a problem down the line. but it also is greater efficiency for government. it costs about 15 cents to process an electronically filed returns. it costs about $3.50 to process a paper return. this has been a huge success and we will keep pushing that. another example of where we have innovated is our use of new media. i always talk about that as an agency that serves every american, we need to meet people on their own terms where they want to be met. that is why we still have walk- in centers in some places because people still want to see face-to-face interaction. but last year, week unveiled the iphone or android app called "irs to go."
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you can now track your refunds on your smart phone and a variety of other information on -- from the irs. you can expect to see us continue to internet -- to innovate because we will need to do that to serve taxpayers well. let me shift and talk about how the irs is managing its responsibilities in an increasingly global world. we live in a world where products are produced routinely where intellectual property is developed in one country, logistics and engineering than happens in another country -- one or more countries -- risks are managed in a variety of other countries, and components are sourced from yet other countries. when you actually take the product to market, it can be
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quite a challenge to figure out what the proper u.s. corporate income tax is. not only are corporations operating in a -- in a global world, but individuals are, too. people with modest income with retirement savings usually have something global exposure through their 401k. this shift to a more global world produces challenges to the irs. -- for the irs. we put a big dent in offshore tax evasion as a major priority. we cannot have a tax system where wealthy people are hiding assets offshore and not paying their taxes, and schoolteachers and firemen and ordinary americans are getting paid through a paycheck, having their taxes withheld and sent right to the irs, and footing the bill for people who are invading tax as offshore. over the last four years, we have significantly increased our resources and our focus on
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offshore tax evasion. the results have been very substantial. we upped the ante in a meaningful way with work on swiss financial institutions, where for the first time in history, the bank secrecy jurisdiction turned over thousands of names and account numbers to the irs. as we have increased our enforcement efforts, we also created a new voluntary disclosure program. we have had the program for many years, and usually about 100 people come in and say, i want to disclose something i've done wrong. i will pay a serious penalty, but avoid going to jail. when we broke -- open this program up a couple of years ago we thought we would get maybe a
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thousand people. we have gotten 33,000 people so far and disclose offshore bank accounts. today, we brought in just through the voluntary disclosure more than $4.4 billion, and that number continues to grow. we have also brought in a lot of information about intermediaries, bankers, banks, and taxpayers through that. that will allow us to continue pressing in this area. collecting all of this money for past misdeeds and punishing people who broke the law is only part of the story. perhaps, the more important part of the story is the deterrence story. i think we are well on our way to stopping the next generation of people from even thinking about hiding assets overseas. we have fundamentally changed the risk out keyless for advisers who would potentially facilitate offshore evasion, for banks that would potentially take assets from americans, and from -- and for americans to essentially try to send their money overseas.
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>> we are also upping our game particularly in the international renown. -- a rematch. -- arena. we have also increased coordination with our counterparts, globally. a group from many nations have moved to some real coordinated action, both on offshore tax evasion, but also doing things like joining audits with major corporations, so there is major coordinated action. let me conclude with, the last piece with work -- which we were quite proud of, but one is
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people. i am a big believer as a leader of an institution, you want to serve as well or wherever it is your mission is, you need to make sure people show up every day, ready to do their job. as leaders, you need to make sure people feel respected, they are engaged, they are accountable. we have done everything from working on culture to working on manager burdens, to making sure our people on the field have the right technology to get their job done. we are quite pleased at the results of trying to move 100,000-person organization, moving. to 2008 to 2011, we have jumped from eighth place to third place. among the 15 large agencies with over 20,000 employees in the best place to work in government survey. we have had a lot of work to do going for. we continue to focus on our
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people and make sure we have the best group of employees in the federal government for the next generation of the tax system. that is our pro-active the agenda. on top of this, in recent years, we have also been called on to execute some of the key policy priorities of this country. i call this final category of work that we have done "in coming priorities -- incoming priorities." a couple examples of high- profile initiatives. the government had to step in in a serious way with this potential recession. $300 billion was pushed out
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through the taxes. 95% of americans got -- were part of the making work pay credit, so they got money, the of the irs in their bank accounts, and we did things like, through the expanded net operating loss, where people could ask for a longer time to get in this year's tax return. we put tens of billions of dollars into business as right at the time the credit markets were frozen. we have also recently been asked to play a significant role in the affordable care act. much of the money flows in that piece of legislation are effectuate the to the tax system. the lesson here for us is that we need to be nimble and agile what we are called on to do something. four years ago, because we set out with a clear strategy and a
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very intense focus on six strategic priorities. technology modernization, tax return repairs, data analytics, taxpayer service, offshore tax evasion, and our people. the economic downturn and new policy directions added two other major things to our agenda. by staying focused and explaining our strategy consistently to our employees and stake holders of the irs, we have made significant headway in all of these areas and have made lasting, positive change in our nation's tax system, which will position it well to serve the american people for the years to come. with that, i want to thank you for listening and i would be happy to answer some questions. [applause]
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>> how big is iis fraud as a problem for taxpayers? >> the vast majority of tax preparers are honest, ethical, hard-working, and provide a great service to both the tax system and the country. the problem is, there are unscrupulous repairs out there who bring down the reputation of all the great prepares that are out there, but also, the real problem is it is because it is -- it is the taxpayer who goehos the bag at the end of the day. you get $3,000, you spend it, we then figure that out.
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the paris pact up shop and you are left holding the bag. it is a small number of people that are unscrupulous, but those are people we need to make sure we are focused on so that taxpayers get good treatment. >> why do you feel it is in the taxpayer's best interest to place regulations on tax payers rather than simplifying the tax code? >> when we pursued our tax return prepare initiative, which is what we call, -- we did it in a very delivered and public way, which is the way i think any big institution like ours that affects a lot of people should operate. first, without having any preconceived notion about, should we do something or should not be do something, and if so, what should we do? we went and held public hearings
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across the country, most of which i attended, and got feedback. overwhelmingly, taxpayers, public injured -- public groups, said there is no basic level of competency in the community and you should do something. through that dialogue and the input we got, we put out a blueprint, and said here is what we think should be done. we have had lots of feedback from that. from that, we then moved to put out regulation. each time you put out our set of regulations, we had public comment on those regulations, so we have adjusted those as we have gone. the result, we think, are a ballot -- a very balanced set of service in compliance initiatives. basic co. s.c. -- basic competency tests to make sure they have a basic understanding of the law.
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by the way, you can have three years to pass that. people should be able to pass that test. we also, through the process, caught a lot of feedback on things we should change, places we should tweet, and most of that feedback, we talk. should the tax code be simplified? the answer is absolutely, yes. but that is very complex. we want to make sure that as people ruffled through it, if they're going to pay professionals to do so, that that professional is, but -- is competent. >> i am a huge fan of democracy and a big believer in three branches of government. courts.can use the cor
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i am very confident that not only everything we are doing is going to be seen as legal, but more portly, everything we're doing is going to benefit the american people. >> the percentage is increasing. the latest numbers are at 60, 65% using paid preparers. the rest for using software. that moves back and forth. it is a moving target. >> with gasoline prices on an upward spiral, will the irs increase the standard mileage rate? >> that is a very specific question.
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we have a formula that looks like what the standard mileage rate should be. we look at changes and fluctuation and we do it once a year. occasionally, when there has been a big change, we will do it mid year. >> what is the agency doing to combat identity theft? >> that is a great question. most people know that the fastest growing financial crime in this country is identity theft. it is someone stealing a purse or wallet and getting a hold of the social security number and using that for mischief. unfortunately, some people who do that, sometimes they try to
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use that id to get a refund. we have a very aggressive program around that. last year, we stopped $14 billion of refunds from going out the door that had some indication of fraud. we have continually learn to and changed our filters to stop fraudulent refunds. last year, we put in place a new program where if you have been a victim of identity theft, this is outside of the tax system. you can call us and we will give you a pin. if you use that 6-digits pin, your refund will fly through.
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because we saw this as an escalating problem, in coordination with the justice department, in january, we did a nationwide criminal sweep of people who had used identity theft in the tax system. we had 100 people subject to arrest, search warrants in a one-week period it. it sent a very strong message to folks. if they commit identity theft, cannot try to use the tax system to do so. we have also tripled the number of people just dedicated to general identity theft issues. this includes a victim assistance. when someone comes then and someone has stolen their identity and they're having a problem getting their refunds, we have more people dedicated to help unravel the problem for them.
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>> there are many tax cuts that expire at the end of the year. next year could be a major headache for tax payers if congress does not act soon. how big of a problem will this be? >> one of our jobs we take very seriously is to make sure that as americans wrestle with a complex tax code, it is a seat -- it is as seamless as possible for them. we speak for the american people. unfortunately, congress has gotten a habit -- got into the habit of passing tax legislation very late. a lot of that is legislation that has already expired. to give you an example, there are three different things happening. tax cuts from 2001 and 2003 are
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set to expire at the end of this year. the payroll tax cuts is set to expire at the end of this year. the most important and complicated issue is there is a whole bunch of tax cuts that expired several months ago which include the amt and things like extenders, those of already expired. if congress does not act until late in the the year next year, after the election, we will have real risk in the system. we may have to do what we had to do two years ago, which is delayed the opening of filing season for a whole number of people. if congress cannot act by the end of the year, and even starts to think about the retroactive
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legislation, you could have a disaster in the filing season where there is total confusion. it is an issue we are tracking very closely. we are quite concerned about it. we are hopeful that these pieces of legislation will pass sooner rather them later. >> the think we could ever expect to see a simpler tax code -- do you think we could ever expect to see a simpler tax code? >> yes. [laughter] the statistics are going in the right direction now. there have been 3000 changes to the tax code since 2000. we have a very complex tax code. there is broad political consensus, both parties, the administration and congress, all would like to see a simpler tax code.
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when i took this job, i had a friend to said, the problem with taxes is that it is real money. every change to the tax code can mean that some people might pay less and some people might pay more. it is hard to do. we are hitting a critical mass of sentiment around the country that something needs to be done about the tax code. >> some state leaders are calling for an end to the mortgage tax credit. what the think that effect would be? >> -- what do you think that effect would be? >> the mortgage deduction is an important to the auction. we have an economy that is on the rebound. we have a housing market that is looking a lot better. i will not speculate on something that is not in the works. i will leave it to somebody else to speculate on something that may or may not ever happen.
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>> you have stated in your remarks that the irs technology portfolio is deficient and far behind when compared to the private sector. how secure is taxpayer information from hackers to have gained access to files of certain financial institutions? >> let me clarify my comments. we have been underfunded for many years and are operating on some old technology. this year, we had a major breakthrough in significantly upgraded the core piece of technology we need to upgrade. i think we are making progress now in a significant way. regarding data security, it is something that we take very seriously. we have had no perimeter
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breaches from hackers. we have a set of people doing cyber security in a very serious way. we have extensive internal security is that we put in place. i always tell everybody, my first hour as irs commissioner, i got sworn in, there was a safety briefing and an information security briefing. that this house seriously we take it. the american people can feel very confident that their data is secured at the irs. >> what is the irs doing to encourage e-filing? >> we moved from 16% to 17 -- 77% in the last 15 years. that number is continuous --
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continuing to go up. there are people who want to file on paper. let me tell you a little story. when i first got to the irs, i saw returns that had clearly been prepared on a computer that somebody had printed out, sent to us, and we had people typing and that return. that does not seem sufficient. i think the trend is moving in the direction. there will be a time when everything will be electronic. we also have an obligation to every american, not just the americans to use a computer.
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there are some people who do not use a computer for a variety of reasons. that number is dwindling. we want to make sure we serve every taxpayer. >> several nonprofits indicated on their application that they would not be spending any money to influence the election of candidates. then they spent millions on political ads. what have you not revoked their status? >> i am not aware of any of these specific cases. not addressing specific nonprofits are any detailed information someone has or does not have, the 501c4 our social welfare organizations that are generally under the tax code promoting the common good. they are allowed to engage in
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political activity as long it is not their primary activity. our job is to administer the tax laws. what we do is -- they become an organization. you do not need to apply. you can hold yourself out. all of them have to file a form 990. we have a set of screens that we put them through. and we see an issue -- when we see an issue, we will do an audit and gathered more facts. >> 73% satisfaction with the irs and that is considered a below average grade in schools. what are you doing to raise satisfaction? >> the question asks about the
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overall filing experience. it continues to move up. irs has a ubiquitous brand. irs often people think about enforcement. when you get a question about the irs, they have a knee-jerk reaction. what we are doing is doing our job. we're making sure when you call us, they give -- we give you accurate information. we make sure we do an audit, we have competent people to find problems when there are problems and walk away when there are not any problems. we make sure we have a better web applications. we make sure preparers are qualified and the list goes on. our job at the end of the day is to do all the things we're supposed to do for the american people. i will not compare us to kids in school, i will tell you that it
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is the highest number we have ever had. it shows continued improvement for the irs. >> there are hundreds of thousands of undocumented -- documented undocumented aliens in the usa. is the irs doing anything to collect taxes? >> it is a great question. one of the pathways to citizenship that people believed is a good one is even if you are not in this country legally, to pay taxes. our job is to make sure, if you work in this country, and you have a tax obligation, that you file a tax return. that is what we tried to do. our job is around exactly who would never broached the question asked. -- whoever approached the question asked. we are not responsible for
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immigration policy. you have a lot of people in this country to pay taxes who are not here legally, who filed returns they can show a track record of being good citizens. the people who are being good members of society, people do do that are contributing to national defense. that is what we want. we tried to run the system in a fair way that allows everybody to pay taxes. >> last year, you indicated that you had to check with your wife about a second term as commissioner of the irs. did you get permission? >> i have a term that ends this fall. my plans to serve out that term , my plan is to leave at the end of my term. this is a great institution. a phenomenal chondrite of
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leaders who are well positioned to continue -- cadre of leaders were well-positioned to continue to move the organization forward. to make sure the institution is much stronger than any of us, that it continues to serve taxpayers next year and next year and 10 years from now. >> we are almost out of time. i have a couple of housekeeping matters to take care of. i would like to remind you of the upcoming luncheon speakers. on april 11, we have the executive director of major league baseball players association. on april 16, alec baldwin will be here. that event is sold off, but -- that event is sold out, but you can watch it on c-span. i would like to present you with
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our traditional coffee mug that will help you stay up late on your filing your taxes. i do have one last question. to prepare your own tax returns? have you ever been audited? >> when you become the irs commissioner, every tax lawyer in the government takes a look at your returns. my returns have been thoroughly vetted by both the administration and congress. i have a preparator my tax returns. -- i have a preparer prepare my tax returns. [applause] >> i would also like to thank our national press club staff for organizing today's event. you can find more information about the national press club on the website. if you would like to get a copy
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of today's program, check our web site. thank you for joining us today. we are adjourned. [applause] >> president obama signed the jobs act into law today. it is designed to make it easier for small companies to raise money. this is about 10 minutes. after the ceremony, reaction from eric cantor. >> thank you. hello, everybody. good afternoon. i want to thank all of you for coming. i want to thank the members of congress from both parties whose leadership and hard work made this bill a reality. one of the great things about america is that we are a nation of doers.
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we think big, we take risks, and we believe that anyone with a solid plan and a willingness to work hard can turn even the most improbable idea into a successful business. a legacy of fords, googles, twitters. this is a country that has always been on the cutting edge. america has always had the most daring entrepreneurs in the world. some of them are standing with me today. when their ideas take root, we get inventions that can change the way we live. when their businesses take off, more people become employed. overall, new businesses account for almost every new job that is created in america. because we are recovering from one of the worst recessions in our history, the last few years have been pretty tough.
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credit has been tight and no matter how good their ideas are, if you cannot get a loan from a bank, it is almost impossible to get businesses off the ground. that is why back in september, i called on congress to remove a number of barriers preventing aspiring entrepreneurs from getting funding. this is one useful important step along that journey. here is what is going to happen because of this bill. for business owners who want to take their companies to the next level, this bill will make it easier for you to go public. that is a big deal because going public is a major step towards expanding. it is a big deal for investors as well because public companies operate with greater oversight and with greater transparency. for start-ups and small businesses, this bill is a game changer.
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right now, you can only turn to a limited group of investors, including banks and wealthy individuals to get funding. laws that are decades old make it impossible for others to invest. a lot has changed. it is time our laws did as well. because of this bill, start-ups and small business will now have access to a new pool of potential investors. mainly the american people. for the first time, ordinary americans will be able to go on- line and invest. to make sure americans do not get taken advantage of, the web sites will be subject to rigorous oversight. the sec will play an important role in implementing this bill. it means that all the members of congress, before i sign this
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bill, it will be important that we make sure that they are properly funded. so they can do the job and make sure that our investors get adequate protection. this bill represents exactly the kind of bipartisan action we should be taking in washington. engineways said the true of job creation in this country is the private sector. not the government. our job is to help our companies grow and hire. that is why i pushed for this bill. that is why i know that the bipartisan group of legislators pushed for this bill. that is why i have cut taxes for small businesses over 17 times. that is why every day, i am fighting to make sure america is the best place on earth to do business.
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our economy has begun to turn a corner, but we still have a long way to go. we have a lot of americans looking for a job or looking for a job that pays better. we will have to keep working together so we can keep moving the economy forward. i have never been more confident about our future. the reason is because of the american people. some of the folks beside me today are a testimony to that. some meetings go well, some meetings do not go well. that is true for me, too. [laughter] but they keep at it. maybe one of the folks in the audience today will be the next bill gates, mark zuckerberg. that is the promise of america. if these entrepreneurs are willing to keep giving their all, the least washington can do to help them to succeed.
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i plan to do that now by signing this bill. thank you very much. [applause] [inaudible]
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[laughter] there we go. it is done. [applause] enjoy a great day. [applause]
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>> good afternoon. it is a pleasure to be here. we just finished up the bill signing of the jobs act. it is an honor to be here to join with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to watch the president sign into law the jumpstart our business startup bill.
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this is a bill that was aimed directly at trying to address the problem we face in america today, which is the economy is lagging and our small businesses are having a hard time getting up off the ground. it is a business solutions oriented bill. i hope it represents the kind of bipartisan work that we can actually accomplish in washington over the next few months. we have a very difficult economic situation. the president said today that he has always believed that it is the private sector that is the job generator in this country. i agree with him. i think most americans agree with him. because of that, we will bring to the house floor next week or the week after, our bill. this is the same line of
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thinking that the jumpstart bill is about. to help small businesses keep more of their own money so they can retain and hire more people. with that, i would be delighted to answer any questions. >> [inaudible] >> i did not have a chance to talk to the president. i look forward to doing that. i am glad the senate is talking about finally starting to do something for small business people. that is the key to get the economy going. i would respond to the senator's statement by saying this. we need to empower small
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business men and women. for the government to mandate that they act one way or another in terms of hiring people or not, that puts more restrictions on small business. if we believe in free markets, if we believe that small businesses are the growth engine, we ought to empower them by allowing them to keep more of their money so that they can retain and hire more workers. >> [inaudible] >> i disagree with the allegation. what i believe this bill does is it strikes the proper balance to allow small business people a little easier time seeking investors and accessing capital so they can grow. i hear anecdotally throughout my district in richmond, virginia, it is too hard right now for small businesses to get up off the ground and grow. this bill responds to that
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difficulty. one more question. >> [inaudible] >> we are all for good economic news. over the last several months, i have been very encouraged by the private sector job growth. we are not out of the woods. we want to continue to grow this economy. we want to make sure that people get back to work. we need to do more. we need to make sure that families can begin to reestablish their economic security going forward. we have a lot of other problems >> we have a lot of other problems that they meet are facing. prices are way too high.
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this lack of a burden on families. we have a lot of work to do. i live forward to make sure we can do this. >> we ask students to create a video explaining what part of the constitution was a sport in to them and why. today we're going to wisconsin to meet with jeffrey, an eighth grader at mckinley middle school. hello. >> hello. your video was on the patriot act and its relationship to the bill of rights. why did you choose this topic? >> are partners and i chose to focus on this because we're trying to balance the efforts of fighting terrorism and keeping privacy.n ofal
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>> you began your video by showing capt. american playing a card game poof "war." jonathan represented the citizens of america. it was a representation of how the ongoing battle between the picture at in the bill of rights is going on. sometimes the citizens would win and sometimes the government. >> interviewed two attorneys. how did they understand bridget help you understand it? >> the help us understand that the patent act made changes to have the government but happen to different parts of our lives. the also said it there are checks and balances that
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insurer a civil liberties are not entrenched appeared >> how did they understand the different sides of this issue? >> a game as may lead to different sides. the first side said the patriot act did not make any sense because the majority of citizens are not terrorists. the other side it is important because of projects the american. >> what would you like the people who watch your video to learn? >> i would like them to learn more about the patriot act and how it relates to the bill of rights. they should try to decide whether they are on the side of protecting civil liberties or protecting american citizens. >> thank you for talking with us today. >> you are welcome. >> here's a portion of jefferies and video.
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>> i have a report that shows that fbi intelligence has compromised the civil liberties of american citizens are more frequently than was previously assumed. >> the patriot act is a destructive undermining of the constitution. we started this off with a discussion of reading the constitution. many of us carry constitutions with us and our pocket. about we take a stand to say that all americans should be free from unreasonable ones.
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>> i believe it has been successful. i support its extension. >> you can see his entire video at and continue the conversation at our facebook and twitter pages. >> an update on afghan military operations. a forum on hydraulic factories, it generally referred to as fracking. after that, at a hearing on homelessness among homelessness. and the agencies customer service. >> often "washington journal" -- we rewired for chan"washington" will talk to mike allen and evan thomas on their new e-book.
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we will take your questions and comments about the bullying in the nation's schools. it will be joined for the national center for education statistics. it is live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> this sunday, the u.s. senate youth program. >> i got the of attendee to meet both my senators appeared just able to meet them. >> he talks about how important it is to be financially sound. is it going to be worth it because we do not have any money? >> high-school students from 50
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states participated in a leadership program. share their observations and experiences as they interacted with members of congress and the president. >> there's a lot of partisanship going on. i am the one who is reaching across the aisle. everyone we have met here has said that. that makes me wonder if there's a discrepancy between what they're saying and what they're actually doing. i never thought about that before i came here. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern. >> an update now on afghanistan military operations. chris toner recently returned from eastern afghanistan. he spoke at the institute for the study of war. due to technical problems, we are only able to air this 40 minute portion.
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>> can what you have achieved holds as the u.s. is cutting back on the level of troops in cutting back the afghan forces? and general war fatigued across the country. >> for the most part people do not care about afghanistan. they just want this war to be over. >> let's platitude the separate questions. the economy network and the affiliated groups, while it has sanctuary inside of pakistan. >> i speak to the momentum i have as we left afghanistan. the answer for me in the
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momentum i saw building, at the resource think that existed there in the level of competence in the government, i would say yes. i say that from the standpoint of, for any insurgency to be successful, you have to have popular support. you have to have some sort of introduction of a force at a culminating point. there is a group of folks out there who say that may be cut has taken a need. in terms of opinion, based on what i see happening and the momentum we have achieved, that is a course of action that has failure written on it. it is the year from the standpoint if he waits till
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2014, besides a wave of his forces -- the tidal wave of his forces will not hit sandcastles. it will hit more here and a siemencement. i am biased. i have personal interest in this. the birdbrigade commander is the best in afghanistan purity as a commander with me. when i got off the plane, and there he was. it was like old times again. he is a phenomenon of this are that expects the same out of his soldiers. he has a phenomenally competent fighting force. his concern and my concern are the same. it is with respect to some of
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the sustainability aspects, and maintenance, those kind of things. they can feed themselves no problem. maintenance, repairing things. we focus a lot of energy on that. to got better over time. he knows that is a place that he has to get focused. this is a largely competent force by afghan police. words will do no justice in the improvement of the afghan uniform police. largely despise in 2006 and 2007 across the board. nobody wanted a police in their villages, a corrupt, and they would kill people. they would take from people. this has changed significantly. you have a professionalized police force.
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this police force is phenomenal. just a phenomenal force led by great folks. you have got the additional aspect of the protection force that was largely a raid on the southern border.
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it is a strong tribal network that is supportive of network police. you have that that is building. as i was leaving afghanistan, a phenomenal. four brigage love all operations -- brigade level operations that they planned on their loans. on some we just pulled out. over 4000 patrols in addition to the other ones we did independent. we conducted over 14,000 patrols combined at every level. there was never -- i would not allow it.
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in addition to that 14,000 or so, there were about 4500 patrol's led by then. some are pretty significant. 10 tons of ammonium nitrate were captured by afghan uniform police elements. they watched the truck crossed the border, it captured the truck, and the two drivers. it 10 times. that is about 450 pound ieds.
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the three attackers and did their vehicle. we had great potential. that would be meet not good 2006, 2007. the phenomenal increase over a short time to a level of competency that they can still appeareappear. assuming that this methodology continues, assuming that open
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source, and i am not in on anything other than that right now, is the focus. it is critically important. the intelligence that we heads and haqqani suffering on resource was significant. there's comedy on the battlefield. there is a level of dysfunction. there is a lack of tactical military expertise that we saw that we have not seen previously. >> directed. -- terrific. >> i was running around your territory in 2006.
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>> there is only a couple of you i think. >> maybe. i agree with your assessment on breaking down the tactical capabilities. i am a little less convinced. i'm a little less convinced of been able to discuss the ability to generate appropriate levels of rolls of the law to eliminate the drivers of the insurgency in terms of this procedure is and -- of this procedure disenfranchisement. in terms of what was working and what was the number one impediment. >> we have got to change.
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there is the campaign plan assumed by general allan. it is a continuity and the application of all elements of cross our lines of effort. it applies to the environment. it changes the environment so the enemy cannot operate. i was not a believer with the rule of law. as a battalion commander coming out -- do not leave me on the
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quote -- i will tie it in -- as a battalion commander coming out and understanding the culture, i thought there is no way they will buy off on a judge and a jury in rule of law. this is the system. they're not going to let this off to anybody. a good friend of mine pull me in as he does very well. he talks me through this. what i saw the merger of -- emerged was this overwhelming welcome of a structured process of rule of law.
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when am i going to get my judge out here? we can start solving some of these issues. haqqani realize that. there is a protective aspects. but they're living on the economy, chances are they're going to get killed. in the hostemained city. they are doing trials. they are resilience. 51 trials of in 11 months, 36 convictions may sound paltry. this never existed. what was interesting to me as i traveled around to ththe
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exterior. that is one key aspect. we do have a population out there that supports not only haqqani but other insurgent groups. they all look to them to solve their problems. i think rightfully so that our leaders identified this. in an interstate, i saw it take off pretty significantly. this is an in trichet program that we had. these law students -- that was internship program that we had.
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these lawsuits and would work with the judges. another aspect from the community colleges that there is a source for solving issues at the government level. largely they are still in place. >> you have the next question. >> i am a believer. if that can work there, pretty phenomenal. >> you mentioned -- can you speak of where specifically that is coming from? had you seen any willingness whatsoever by the haqqani to talk to the u.s., anything that symbolizes they may be willing
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to stop fighting at some point? >> i wish i knew were the source was. i do not. that -- i know there are folks looking up. and now there are efforts and methods to try to address that. i do not know. i suspect that the facilities that exists in theess days of the soviet invasion emanating out, they're probably still in place i suspect. we would kill or capture folks. they would have a large sums of pakistani money in there.
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toward the latter part of our deployment, we started to see old what brinweaponary. the ieds did not change. we started to see mortar systems with about base plates. there were complaints. our intelligence was giving us complaints that they were having challenges getting basic ammunition.
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the indirect fire element that we face decreased by 70%. our tier 1 and tier two incidents -- tier 1 and tier 2, those are where you have a loss of life, equipment, a loss of officials. they were at about 34% will meet first came in there. that decrease by 11%. we're down by 23, 24%
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during those 11 months. to contrast that with what i saw 2006/2007, i had 200 guys come across the border. use of, i platoons that would get in contact with 50 or 60 people. i never saw that during this tour at all. the most ever saw gathered in one place at one time, our operators were supported by them. the destroyer that information. i would be happy to see 13 in 2006, 2013. it was a fight. we were focused in iraq.
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i am not telling you i'm not concerned about the sanctuary. there are three elements. i put that in our camp. at the popular support in the camp. there are not going to be tanks across the border there. this aspect of sanctuary in the ability to recruit, train, equip, and then prosecute operations out of their does concern me. i would contrast that with 2006/2007. it is all open sores. there were no predator -- source. there were no british operations. we knew what was going on.
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this threat that is now opposed against haqqani in this aspect of a loss of leadership, the senior operator captured, it is right on the border. the intelligence that we got was linked to one that you're trying to get in 2006-2007. another one of these great operations. he provide as a great deal of intelligence. he led to the capture and the killing of four of the deputies. it eviscerated the hav
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haqqani operations of command and control, absolutely. that is when all the commanders left and got out. >> de think they are reconcilable? had seen any evidence that make you think that? >> this is my personal view. i've not seen any concrete evidence. knowing the history haqqani history -- the history of haqqani and what he's trying to do, the difference between the fathers and the sons, the suns are driving the operations and i do not think they are irreconcilable. -- the sons are driving the operations and i do not think
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they are reconcilable. i am not sure if they even thought about doing it if they could. i really do not know what the relationship is in pakistan. i do not have any insight on that. i can only go back to the historical analysis of haqqani and the support they received during the soviet era. i'm just making an assumption. >> [inaudible] it is great to see the difference between 2006 and 2007 and now. what he had done is provide the
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space for the government to extend the rule of law. it sounds like there has been major progress on parts of the police and set national governance. what is the next step? the government really needs to continue to firm up its services. what should we be doing to try to solidify what you have gained already? >> i will just be to the campaign plan and where we were headed as i left. i thought we read in the right direction. it speaks partly to transition.
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i will start with what i would finish with. you have to stand up and own it. regardless of what we do, at the end of the day they have to stand up and own it. they instructed me. it was conditioned space. that is why you see this move in the rce's. the conditions will be achieved toward the end. the focus is down south. conditions based. it is a conversation. as having this conversation with our governors.
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as having a conversation about where we think transition's can occur. there's governance and development. your point about maturing the government to the point that they can take this is absolutely spot on. it can provide basic needs and services to the people. whatever that equals, the people feel that. a loss if you have been over there before. it does not take a lot to the village. it is a little bit different atmosphere. it is a pretty educated population there. the high-rises are going in there.
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we're over 300k. our senses takers said it increased by 30,000. i see indicators of confidence. by no stretch of the imagination, there's much more work to be done. there is a psychological aspect out there that folks still need to see more. they still need to feel more comfortable about where the security forces are going.
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they shift of resources encourages leaders on the conditions that need to be met for transition. >> [inaudible] i was fortunate to house them a couple of times. i was sharing his vision. what a phenomenal individual. understands the people. i would tell you, my conversation with a general officer.
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they were all comfortable with all of them. >> he get the next question. -- we go to the next question. what is the coalition doing if anything to improve security for local officials t? it helps them secured them. in your joint special operations
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that you're doing and afghan forces, how much do you have to factor in the risk of potentially tipping off the enemy. >> in my outfit, we had the same test to verify perrin i was very open with the intelligence that i have worked. i knew all the leaders. i knew these men were men of character. i knew i could trust them with
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the things that we were doing. we did watch to see if there were any indicators that the offset was being violated. we had no indication that it was. this includes sharing information with their governors to have a right to know and to understand what is going on with their security forces in their forces. it is a requirement. to include special operations. the governor should know. it's something that happens, they're the ones to solve the problem here with our support
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and working together, these are tragic events. they resulted in a no significant issues. i did a bit of this when i was battalion commander, too. i had a great division commander. he was all about being open and getting our afghan brothers up to speed their during this tour over a year, what change for me
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significantly was the afghan human intelligence network. the nds folks routinely came in with human intelligence that we confirm through other means. they led us down that path. as only afghans can do inside their country, a significant improvement in terms of intelligence capacity on a human side. unlike 2006/2007, army hated the police. the police say the army. nobody trusted nds > . woe be it if you were in afghan border policemen. you have that kind of
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environment. they have matured. we started this back then. we had senior representation from of the afghan security forces. it was a single coordination center. it is one of our tactical operation centers. they are sharing in coordinating intelligence. when they walk in and say national director of security, when he walks in and says one of our informants a just tell me that there is an explosive device that is moving from tears
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there, that starts this sequence of events. police now have it. the national army is there. he picks up the phone. he calls the general. instantaneously, they're calling my headquarters. it is very flat. we're getting this 24 hours ahead of time. it allowed us to posture, unchanged checkpoints. we found out it was completely disrupted. in the case it did occur, it is defeated. we had to get past not willing to share intelligence. in my office, we were doing that.
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>> this is largely provided fiat the afghan uniformed police in the case of the governor's in the districts of governors. my charger to myself was denied get the governor's killed. are you going to replace them? i monitor that very closely. howdy you replace this? -- how do you replace the leaders? that is why haqqani is trying to kill them. i did not find a contingent to protect the governor at his compound. i did monitor intelligence. i'm a little protected by
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nature. i made sure i knew when they were going. haqqani did not get an opportunity to kill one of them. >> we're running to the end of our time. i would like to know if there is anything else that you would like to say about your thoughts on the future? >> thanks for this opportunity. hopefully i'll provide you some insight. if you were with me now could 2006-2007, and you can understand why i am an optimist. what has not change me over that time is the commitment of great afghan patriots. i have to be careful because i get a little emotional. i described them as founding
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fathers. did they put their lives arresat risk. could be making lots of money in a very benign environment summer in the world. the last thing is their families. it is often a challenge to watch them go off to their andilies in cobble = -- kabul not place the matter rest. there are some
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phenomenal individuals over there. they should be our story. another common aspect of this is the fan member that says you want this to be over with. this is the most challenging one in the world. counterinsurgency is the most challenging fight in the world. there's one aspect that will be the same. it has been the same throughout history, a time. it takes time and patience. i'm a realist. i understand that this is our enemy.
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if anybody can make this happen, if they can make it happen. the afghans have to wanted. they have to stand up and take it. the strain of the united states was not the fact that we beat the british in the revolutionary war. it is the fact that we stayed together afterward. my challenge to them was how are you going to unite afghanistan? you are the guys that have to do it. history will tell us one thing. when afghans unite, a look out. my hope is in this great diversity that exists them all fighting next to each other, that it will spread next to the country and they will create this awesome environment that's haqqani -- thast haqqani
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cannot do anything about. >> thank you so much for joining for the study of war. for more want to learn about this area of afghanistan, i recommend you our website you can find the paper on the haqqani network as well as other videocasts from our series. i would be remiss if i did not tens with extraordinary thanks and gratitude to colonel toner and the great men and women on the combat teams. they have tremendous work in changing afghanistan to make it possible for these great
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patriots to achieve their goals in an environment where they do not necessarily have everything they need to make their countries succeed. did you and your shoulders have done a tremendous job. i really want to thank you. we have for you a claim it to thank you very much for joining us. have a wonderful day. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> in a few moments, extracting oil from deep under crowns. it is known as fracking. after that, at the head of the internal revenue service on the need to do its with expiring tax provisions pier.
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this is here on suspension o'clock eastern. also, a panel of foreign policy experts looks at preventing nuclear terrorism. it is part of the national press club news makers series. this is on c-span3 at 10:00 eastern. >> this weekend marks the anniversary of the bloodiest battle to be fought during the civil war. they have almost 20,000 casualties. we will tour the battlefield.
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they had a washington d.c. border house. join us as we rediscover the third floor office as it is prepared. >> now a u.s. geological survey forum on a hydraulic fracturing, and generally referred to as fracking, a process of extracting oil. >> i'll give you a little bit of
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an understanding of what hydraulic fracking is. i would like to introduce our first speaker. he is the coordinator for the u.s. energy and resources program. use of the first attracted to geology when his parents called him around collecting rocks on field trips. after getting jollity degrees from the university of georgia and penn state, he worked to clean up washington state. he looked for well and gas as a chief for exxon. -- oil and gas as a chief for exxon. he will discuss the increasing role unconventional resources play in the petroleum endowments. >> thank you. >> welcome. thank you for coming out. i will talk about conventional
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oil and gas in united states. i want to talk about this for several reasons. one is to set the stage for the following two talks. i want to give you an idea of what role hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling play in enabling the production of these unconventional resources. i will start off by saying the nation is still very dependent upon fossil fuel. including oil and gas. that provides about 25% at the supply of energy that our country uses every day. this particular diagram shows about where that gap comes from. it comes from different sources. on the left-hand side of the graph, in the middle is for 2010. that is the most recent data we
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have a. you can see that there are a number of different sources. summer conventional. some are unconventional. unconventional are those that are take directional drilling and others in order to produce from the very tight are impermissible -- or in permeable dups. this is one that we take. methane is in the green. it is sometimes fracked in order to produce the gas. the other are conventional sources. you can see our production domestically is the in decline. that is why the long time use of hydro fracking for tight gas is
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so important. we have a much less domestic production. one of our roles is to discuss how much undiscovered gas might be out there using current geological technology and to go back to the slide -- this is all the production. in order to make it you need an assessment of how much gas has to be discovered. we use standardized methodology then we apply some of all approaches to estimates is
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discovered. because of the transparency of our methodologies, our assessments are used by a wide variety people including land managers, our congress and state delegations, the public as well as industry. let me step back just a little bit so we understand what an unconventional resources. this is a cross section through the earth. conventional resources pool on the top and side by impermeable -- impermeable
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designs. we technically referred to them as continuous resources. the oil resources distributed continuously through the formation and is held in iraq because of the rocks are so impermeable. one example of the resources is from this area. at the bottom i list here the gas. it could be as low as $43 -- 43 cubic feet. this illustrates the uncertainty
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that is associated with some of these assessment methodology is. these are assessments. -- assessment methodologies. these are the assessments. this is a compilation of the assessment we have done of a number of the unconventional resources in the united states. maybe you can not read the number but there's quite a bit of gas. on the upper left is our map of the conventional resources. with the exception of the gulf coast and alaska, there's not much left to be discovered. most of these are mitscher provinces. there's not much left to be found. that is why the crap that i showed you had declining
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productions. that is why the unconventional resources are so attractive as a target. this is not the whole story. i was just talking about on shore, u.s., and state bureaus. they use very similar techniques to the ones we used for estimating undiscovered resources offshore. that ends up being a fairly large resource. this is a conventional resources. there's so far no economic incentive to go to the extent of hydro fracking. when you put this together, it holds up to over 1,400 feet of gas. that is a substantial amount of
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gas. our domestic production is about 22 trillion cubic feet a year. -- i want to change to talking about will. we often do on conventional oil assessments because these sometimes contain oil. the most commonly known as the base and in north dakota and montana. that illustrated here, our mean estimate is about barrels of oil. we still have not completed all of our assessment. this map will be updated over the next year. i want to turn briefly to this map from the energy
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administration to show that shale basins occur throughout the united states. looking at a map like this and combinations of our resource estimates gives planners and policy makers an idea of where future production might occur in addition to the ongoing production that we have right now and be able to predict where infrastructure might need to be built. or where impacts might need to be mitigated. i want to just leave you with this worldwide look. i talked about resources within the united states. these are undiscovered resources. there is another category of natural gas, already found. so far we are talking about what has not been found yet but what we are estimating. what we have in terms approved reserves in north america is about 346 trillion cubic feet of
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gas that you can see there are much larger reserves and other parts of the world, particularly eurasia and the middle east. finally, just to give you an idea of what the change in boom of production and some of these basins is, i will show you an animated map of the williston basin and the development of the box information. you can see the production on the lower corner of that draft. -- graph. as you can see, quite an increase in the number of roles in a relatively few number of
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years. thank you for the presentation. he is currently working on projects that estimate ground water recharger its common ground surface water interactions, and sample baseline water quality in streams and wells in some areas of shale gas development in pennsylvania. dennis received a master's degree from indiana masses -- university. he will discuss some of the major water availability and quality challenges associated with natural gas development with a focus on the shale lands philadelphia. ->> thank you. i would like to talk about some water issues 29 associated with
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the marcellus shale. doug ended at showing the gas boom in north dakota and montana. some of the things happening here in pennsylvania where i am from. this map shows that in the last five years, there have been 10,000 sites permitted for marcellus shale wells in pennsylvania. 5000 of them have been drilled a. a significant boom in drilling is occurring. associated with that are the related water issues. partly of what is called -- part of what is happening in pennsylvania that is interesting, this is not a state that is a stranger to oil and gas development. the northeast is not experienced historic development of gas and oil resources. everything is pretty new in the northeastern part of pennsylvania. i will talk about a few of the water issues that i think are interesting.
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things and hearing on the news. things they see coming across my desk. the first is erosion and sedimentation. erosion and sedimentation can occur well before any hydraulic fracturing occurs and before the well is drilled. we have to have a pad and access road. you can see in a pretty and disturbed area in the state forest and pennsylvania that it is a significant footprint on the landscape. the marcellus well pad's tend to be large compared to conventional oil and gas paths. this is about 3-8 acres depending on how water is handled. you can see the water is stored in a pond write off of the path. the roads tend to be large to handle the truck traffic that needs to go up and down transporting water and chemicals to the site.
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at least in this case, the development is occurring on pretty rugged terrain. any service disruption can easily cause erosion, sedimentation if proper mitigation is not done. those are very large well pads. the concentrate on the one large disturbed area. they do have the advantage that multiple levels can be built. a lot of the sam -- a lot of the shale can be accessed from one location. in this case you can see a well that is planned about 3000-5000 in length. this is a planned gas field build out where you can see how
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the development can be planned in a way that does not create much of a footprint on the landscape. this is a 9,000 acre development or lease. it is almost 15,000 square miles. it will be tapped with 15 wall pads on the surface. to put that into perspective, a more conventional type of exploration or billed out using 80 acres or 80 taker spaces into the wells will look something like this. it will be 10,000 -- the number of wells is a big deal, especially when you consider that each one of the wells has to have an access road and a pipeline. you are disturbing the surface and causing forest fragmentation and possibility of erosion and sedimentation. any way the service disruption can be minimized is a good thing.
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gas operators are trying to do that in many cases. spills and leaks something that restricted to the oil and gas industry but it is a water concern. we have a lot of water being handled, injected at high pressures. chemicals are being used along with the water. lots of truck traffic to transport these materials. lots of opportunities for spills and leaks. on some of the paths that we have visited, we see the operators trying to mitigate the possibility of any leaks or spills by things like these liners and berms. here is an example of a pad where the drill cuttings are held and ponds. even if those ponds are lined, which they almost always are. -- you worry about whether the liner is leaking.
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but i have seen in the field, they have contained the drilling mud. these yellow tanks instead of having ponds, they are holding the water that will be used for hide drug fracturing. -- hydraulic fracturing. it is down in the hole with the bit and the bid is crawling up. again they tried to containerized and keep money in a closed system where they can recycle the mud. but those in a container and stabilize them and send them to a landfill. in pennsylvania i am told
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pennsylvania landfills take about 1 million tons a year. hydraulic fracturing, that is what we hear on the news all the time. water concerns about the hydraulic fracturing procedure. a lot of the issues that i hear involve the amount of water that is used which is considerable. the chemicals used along with the water and sand. what happens to the water when it is injected into the ground about the quality of the water is when it flows back to the surface. i will touch briefly on those issues. the amount of water used for hydraulic fracturing averages about 4.5 million gallons per well. most of it is from surface water. even the 32% water that comes from public supplies, which is published from water purveyors, most of that is from surface water supplies, too. there is very little ground water being used in pennsylvania
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for hydraulic fracturing. here you see a holding pond that is being used. the are filling in for use of hydraulic fracturing. upon holds 5 million gallons of water. each one of those trucks in the picture down below -- those trucks are feeding into the pipeline the ec. the water is coming from the trucks into the holding ponds. -- pipeline that you see. to get 5 million gallons of water, 1000 truckloads of water needs to be used. i know where they are getting the water for this particular well. it is from the creek which is a 2.5 hour round trip. you can see there is a lot of truck traffic associated with this shale gas operation. the water basin commission made
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this to show how much water they think will be used for hydraulic fracturing in pennsylvania. that is what you see in the yellow box there. it is pointing to the usage by the gas industry that they projected. 30 million gallons per day. they have compared this to other water uses in the basin. and just to give you a perspective, this is not a huge amount of water for the suspect -- susquehanna basin. however, the total water use is really not the issue. the issue is where you are taking the water and when are you taking it. the location of the withdrawal is very important. here you see a withdrawal from a small stream. you can imagine if they put too many straws trying to much water
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you could easily drive out the small stream. the cessna quanah river -- susquehanna river basin, there is some -- 170 of them. it is not just where you take the water but the timing. the time of year you take the water that is important. here you see a graph showing streamflow during 2011. 2011 was the wettest year in history in pennsylvania. we had a very wet spring and a very wet fall. i guess the answer is, is there
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enough water? yes, adequate water exists. not everywhere and not at all times. another question about the hydraulic fracturing that is in the news a lot is the chemicals that are mixed with water and the sand. what do the chemicals consist of? recently, industries disclosed a lot more of the chemicals they are using. i got disinformation ave publicly available web page called fracfocus. that was put together as a porthole for disclosing chemicals that are being used. i just picked a well at random and these were the actual percentages of chemicals used. only 0.3% of the total volume injected or adding chemicals.
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0.3% is not a very big percentage. would he put in. for 7 million gallons, it turns out that is about 11,000 gallons of chemicals. significant uses is -- significant usages is happening here. if you look on the right, i have broken down the chemicals. the acid fraction contributes probably three-quarters of the amount of the added chemicals. you saw were the perforate the casing and should into the rock and they follow that up with an acid treatment to clean out the holes that they have made into the casing and rock. some of the other compounds to confined are mainly compounds that are used to keep the polls open so that they do not get clogged up with bacterial activity or with corrosion. now you have injected the water
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into the tracking process. you release the pressure. some of it comes back. between a about five or 15% of the water injected comes back. this graph shows the water at different sampling points or different times during the flowback. after the first day of flowback, this well was found to have 19,200 milligrams per liter of total dissolved solids. that is pretty salty. then you can see as time goes on and the flow backwater continues to come out, the salinity increases dramatically. after two weeks the flowback consists of hardly any of the original water that was put in.
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very salty, six times the salinity of seawater. then waste disposal, the water comes back as flow back into have to dispose of a properly. the disposal has been a big issue. early in the shale gas plant in pennsylvania, and by early i mean four or five years ago, a lot of the early water was being sent to municipal wastewater treatment plants. they are not well-suited or designed to handle the flow back chemistry. that practice has largely been stopped in pennsylvania. there are some industrial treatment plants that can treat the water to various degrees. there are not a lot of those. i toured one of the treatment plants. the water that starts out as the 200,000 milligrams -- mg
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after it has been distilled comes out about 100 milligrams per liter in the finished product. that can be disposed of safely through the municipal treatment plant. a lot of water is sent to neighboring states fort dp injections. that has been the case. the next beaker will talk more about deep injection. -- the next speaker will talk more about it. they are 100% recycling their water. the containerized and decent treatment on it and they use it on their next well. that is a very encouraging development. this is a really nice animation from southwestern energy that shows what you like to see. you have drilled the well into the target for mission down at
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the bottom there. in the marcellus shale in our case. you have isolated that well with multiple streams of steel casing and cement. you are producing red gas bubbles from the marcellus following up to the surface. you notice there are two formations that are above the marcellus that also contain gas shown by the little red circles. that is a very common occurrence in pennsylvania. it is not just the marcellus shale that has gas. there are lots of layered sales and some sandstones, too, that naturally contain small amounts of natural gas. in drilling in the marcellus shale, the operators have to drill through those shallow gas producing units. sometimes what they want to do is seal those off. that was small amounts of gas cannot escapes and contaminate
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the environment. here is an example of how the contamination can happen if the cement job on the well was not done properly. in this case in the circular in certification to an illustration showing the cement is not bonded properly to the rock. that allows some of the gas to seep out of the shower producing zone, moved up the well between the two casing strings. they will find their way out into the environment and maybe contaminate some fresh water. we try hard to prevent this. this is what we call straight gas. it is one way gas can get into the environment. -- stray gas. a lot of the cases of gas migration you hear about are more likely caused by this kind of well construction problem.
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all of the issues i have talked about, people are asking what the cumulative impact or effect is of all these things put together and all the wells -- i do not know. it will depend ultimately on the regulations. the regulations have changed twice in pennsylvania in the past years. those will be modified as time goes on. also, actions by industry. the procedures and practices of industry has been taking and it changed over the past five years tremendously. also, the monitoring and research. that is where usgs comes in. monitoring is very important. really a fundamental importance is getting a snapshot of the baseline quality of resources before drilling comes in. you can see in pennsylvania and some of these areas the horse is already out of the barn, it is tough to collect baseline
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condition. research needs to be done on a lot of issues where they do not know what is going on. one example is, when we d.c. chemicals and contaminants in the environment, -- when we do see chemicals and contaminants in the environment, we can identify what the sources are. are they coming from a leak in the gas pump? thank you very much. >> thank you very much. our third speaker tonight isbill leith. he is a seismologist who oversees the global earthquake monitoring and reporting capabilities of the usgs. he served as the active director for national -- natural hazards from 2010 until 2011.
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he has been called upon many times for his expertise on the subject of trigger earthquakes including those associated with hydraulic fracturing. in just the past month he has given several briefings on induced earthquakes to set -- senior administration and staff. he joined in 1986 after receiving a doctoral degree from columbia university. he served as chief and s senior technical adviser to the secretary of state for verification of compliance with nuclear test ban treaties. bill will conclude the lecture by discussing how the disposal of waste fluids into deeper rock formations can generate earthquakes. >> thank you. induced earthquakes, i will also refer to these as a trigger earthquakes, all basically the
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same phenomenon. it has been quite a hot topic as you probably know from reading the newspaper in the past few years -- in the last year we have had either likely or potentially trigger earthquakes from the disposal that dennis talked about an arkansas and southern texas, southern colorado, oklahoma, west virginia, and ohio. it seems like a new phenomenon in the news lately. it actually is not. this is to give you a feel for what has been a phenomenon known for more than 50 years now. here is a list of either the largest or the most significant earthquakes in several different areas. starting with that in the 1960's and colorado, injection experiments, the rocky martin -- rocky mountain arsenal.
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this is the largest well documented injection induced earthquake. in his back to stand, -- uzbekistan, due to the gas extraction activity. modern water reservoirs' also trigger earthquakes as an lake mead and oroville in california. also geothermal. the injection of fluid to enhance the production of geothermal energy has resulted in an earthquake measuring 4.6 and a few others that you probably have heard of. it is not a new phenomenon. we understand why this happens fairly well. it is just actually very difficult to predict what will happen. the research we have been working on is what to do when it
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does happen. many of these as you can see is related to the injection activity. that is what i will focus my remarks on tonight. those activities that humans are involved with and until -- and entail liquid disposal of all types. geothermal production as i mentioned. these three production activities that doug described -- tight shale gas, ties and, involved cracking and the associated need to dispose of formation water that dennis described. also in the future sitting out there is carbon the oxide's sequestration. there are some pilot projects that should it become a big
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activity in the future, it has the potential of triggering earthquakes. through the chesapeake video you saw at the beginning and dennis's talk, i think you understand the process will not. the formation where the gases is fracking process may use millions of gallons of water in order to extract the gas. this has not been a process that triggers the earthquakes in recent -- the cases that we know about. it does make very small earthquakes that actually can be diagnostic for the industry to learn how their fracking activity is going. is it achieving what they want? what occurs after the formation -- after the rock is fractured
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is that water is returning to the surface. this formation fluid that dennis described can be quite salty. that has to be disposed of somehow. in some cases it can be recycled as dennis described. in other cases it can be sent to a water treatment plant. in many cases there is such a large volume of fluid that comes up from this grime it is not economic for that to be disposed of at a water treatment plant or to be recycled. it is disposed of through a disposal. that process is illustrated in this cartoon where the fracking occurs. it is sent off to a disposal where it is injected deep, typically to a depth that has the potential for storing enough energy to trigger an earthquake. most of the time that does not occur. that is worth keeping in mind
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even though we have had some noteworthy cases where it has occurred. this can be a very large amount of fluid. fluid from several of the production wells may be tapped into the same disposal well, typically it is tapped into the same disposal well. i illustrate hear what a well head looks like. the other phenomenon that is of interest is the trucking of this, which dennis described of for the fracking operation. the earthquake that was triggered -- and all the earthquakes that have been triggered over the past year in youngstown, ohio, that fluid that is being disposed of their is actually formation water -- produced water from the fracking activities and pennsylvania. -- in pennsylvania. what does this happen?
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i will try to lead you through this and a simple way. was to go a few kilometers deep in the earth, the earth is everywhere stressed. the earth is pervasively fractured. from stress measurements across the united states, we know that the difference in the rate of earthquakes in the west and the rate of earthquakes in the east is not because there is no stress in the east. it is because there is a much higher rate of decimation in california and alaska, for example. the natural stresses put paulson factors at close to federer. when you inject water or any fluid into the rocket that, if force is the fluid along those tractors -- along those factors. essentially the fluid pushes the sides of the fault of part,
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which is easy to imagine. what it does is allows that fall to slip more easily than it would have had it not been pressurized. the ejection activity pushing a large volumes that high-pressure down deep into rock that is already stressed is what is allowing the earthquakes to be triggered. the formation of new factors is actually -- of new fractures does not release as much energy as compared to the triggered earthquakes. there will be lots of them and they are not really as a concern. it is really the injection of the fluids that have to be disposed of that are a consequence of the production operations that have the potential to trigger earthquakes. i think a just made my last point. so is this a significant
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phenomena and in the united states? this graph, i will try to walk through with you do to the fact that it is a very significant phenomenon in the united states, although it is localized. the earthquakes have not been all that large. what my colleague from the usgs and others have done is a very simple exercise, just simply to count the number of earthquakes. they are counting all the earthquakes in the central part of the united states that are larger than magnitude three from 1970 through most of last year. this count is not representative of the size, just the number of earthquakes at any size larger than magnitude 3. what you see is a fairly constant rate of earthquakes and 1970 through about the year 2000. that is an average of about 21 earthquakes per year.
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a fairly steady rate. we believe the kellogg is complete for this magnitude level all the way back to 1970, so this is representative of a pretty stable process of earthquake generation in the central united states. then what happens about the year 2000, 2001, the rate increases, shown by this green line here. it increases by about 50%. we associate that -- a large proportion of those that we might call excess earthquakes occurring in colorado, associated with the production of methane. 2008 that rate goes up again quite significantly. it is more than seven times larger than the long-term average. this rate is something that really cannot be explained by any natural process.
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we don't have any large earthquakes in the central u.s. that would have a large. of aftershocks that would bump up the numbers. it jumps at this very much larger rate. this is what we interpret to be a human induced process. geographically, it is spatially associated with these enhanced recovery activities that the previous two speakers talked about. obedient example of one of them. induced earthquakes in arkansas. the injection wells in the area , this is an enhanced recovery fracking operation and disposal as was described earlier. the triangle's #135 -- 138 or the disposal wells in the area.
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these are seismographs that were deployed by the university of memphis, one of our partners. these are recording earthquakes, and the earthquake shown here in yellow and red represent the progression in time. the red earthquakes occurring earlier and then migrating down to the south along what is quite obviously a fault in the rock over about a year-and-a-half. the fault is well-defined and has obviously been a conduit for the injected fluids. it is that fall that is responsible for having produced the earthquake. what makes it useful case scientifically is that after the 4.7 earthquake, the oil -- arkansas oil and gas commission halted to wells and promptly the
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earthquake sequence died down. that is the kind of smoking gun that is helpful to have when somebody says how you know that the earthquakes were triggered and that they are not natural earthquakes? the fact that that sequence died as soon as those wells disposal activities were halted by the oil and gas commission provides that evidence. they started up a third well, injected could, and the earthquake started up again. >> so the research questions, why do trigger earthquakes occur in some places and not in others? there are 150,000 wells in the assets that are permanent. about 40,000 of the wells are
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associated with the disposal related to oil and gas activities. yet we have only a dozen or so cases a significantly large trigger earthquakes. most of the wells that do this injection are not triggering earthquakes. another question is, once the earthquake occurs, what do you do? these questions have a scientific basis which we are working on now to try to design so that we can get to this stage down here, what do you do to regulate or permit the activities either before or after a significant earthquake occurs? what process change should be implemented? a fairly optimistic view is held by some people who believe the process can be controlled and we can minimize the risk of
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triggering an earthquake from disposal activity. that goes back to the very first experience that was done in colorado. this was an injection triggered earthquake experimental design to determine whether or not an injection activity could induce an earthquake and whether changes to the injection activity could ameliorate the earthquake hazard. the results of the experiment% to have confirmed the predicted effect of fluid pressure of earthquake activity and indicate that the earthquake may be controlled by manipulating the fluid pressure in the fall loan. i was asked this question here last year when the earthquakes were occurring in west virginia
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by one of the state managers responsible for permitting the activity, and not knowing what to do, he had already decided they were going to cut the volume and have. -- cut the current volume in half, and question that that is adequate. in west virginia, earthquakes have continued in the same area. the other in a member of this is that it is really an open question. that is illustrated by this graph which shows the maximum magnitude of a documented sequence of induced earthquakes and from many places all around the world. these are distinguished by the cases up fluid injection and other causes. the largest -- you see this
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trend and that is maximum magnitude, the dimension affected by the fluid injection. essentially that is the area affected by the continued pumping of water into a single injection well or a set of injection wells. essentially this phenomenon, that dimension in which the earthquakes are triggered by the injection activity is a function of the volume of fluid that goes in. what you see here is a correlation between the volume of fluid and the maximum magnitude. this would indicate, contrary to the previous like, that a more fluid that you put down a whole, the more ways that is disposed of, the larger the potential earthquake. that dilemma, that is the research question we are trying to arrest out -- trying to
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address now, working on some case studies and also working on the theoretical side of the problem. it will be defined of whether or not, once an earthquake occurs at a disposal site, one can alter the practice and minimize the risk. >> finally, if you need more information, i want to point you to our website. we have a frequently asked questions section and answers some of the questions that you may have. thank you. [applause] >> maggie we can give a round of applause for all of our speakers. [applause] >> we are ready to take some
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questions now. i might mention that our next public lecture is scheduled for wednesday, may 2, entitled natures altered seasons. we encourage you to attend that if you wish. we can start with the questions and our speakers will do our best to answer them. >> how much money the developer put into a pad and how much money he makes pulling gas out of it. i want to invest. [unintelligible] >> i don't think any of us can answer that.
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>> another question? >> are you familiar with the use of propane as a fracking fluid, and is as good as it sounds? >> would you repeat the question? >> the question was about the use of propane as a fracking fluid. >> that is news to me, and i just heard about it in the media recently. the only thing i can say is that i know it would lessen the amount of water that is used on each one of the packs. what other chemicals a wooden ball, i do not know. >> i have a strange question. i am struck by the contrast between the number of people who are here. presumably they have other things they could be doing, and the rather saw scientific and quiet tone of the presentation.
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it is very technical talk. i am trying to understand why there is such great interest on the part of the audience, and yet the spirit of the presentation was rather technical and somewhat distant. obviously there's a great deal of concern on the part of people about this subject, and yet none of that was really conveyed by the presentations that are heard. do any of you have any reservations about this whole process you would like to admit to us today? [laughter] >> again, at the beginning of the top, i talked about how we don't take a position on this. we try to do the best science that we can to inform those that do make policy, inform the public such issue, so that you can be active in your community if you want to about these things, and become informed. oh was born and raised to be a scientist. it is what i do. it is not meet taking an
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advocacy role for any position or another position. >> [unintelligible] >> we try to remain dispassionate and address it in this objective manner as possible. [unintelligible] >> i would like to follow-up on that. first of all, i enjoy all of them, but the last 1 especially. in terms of being totally objective, when i see that the only films you are showing this i'd usgs or from industry, that is not what you might call fair and balanced. i wish you had shown a couple of scenes from gas land would show the true effects of these procedures. you did not even mention that fact that there was a waiver to the clean water act, sometimes known as the cheney waiver,
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which said that these companies do not have to reveal what chemicals are going into the ground. and yet you have government agencies approving this. so my question is -- one question is, do the companies have any responsibility in terms of damages caused by earthquakes, for example, are they held accountable financially or in any other way? >> as far as i know, -- the best way to say is i don't know of any laws which have been enacted which would put the company said liability for triggering an earthquake that did any damage. >> with the exception of the last one, i thought you get a pass to industry. if i could briefly address your
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comments about the film, i want to take credit for include the encouraging the use of the first film. i was putting together a presentation a couple of months ago and wanted to try to illustrate the concept of hydraulic fracturing. i found that this felt was very fair and straight forward and factual and get a much better job than i could do. with respect to gas land, all i know is that i was in it, so if that helps you at all. >> one other comment about the regulatory aspect. to produce water is regulated -- there is a problem call underground injection control. if you are really want to dig into it, [unintelligible]
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>> when you talk about the gas it might emanate, certainly we are well aware of the fact that the public in general is concerned about possible gas that could get up there water valve or into a public water supply. straight gas has potentially a number of sources. one of our goals and our program is to continue to develop and better understand the various sources of straight gas. are they coming from not only the kind of shale gas as dennis described but maybe from coal beds and methane sources, or from that decay of biogenic gas from vegetative matter. understanding the natural forces of gaither -- of gas is part of our plan. >> i don't really have a
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question but i want to congratulate you on recognizing the range lee field experiments and the denver well experiments that was worked on back in the late 1960's. they did publish the results in a science magazine article which seems to have been lost to a lot of investigators. i think it is very relevant what people should be looking at now. thank you. >> it is very much relevant. that old paper has certainly been uncovered by what lot of people in the last year. they were some of the pioneers in the earthquake program looking at what could be used to predict earthquakes.
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>> a lot of people don't seem to have found it yet. >> i am just curious on the approximate distance from the borehole. it is horizontal and the fracking is going up and down. ball park, what is that distance? >> the data i have seen from industry papers and journals indicate that in pennsylvania, there are some [unintelligible] barriers in the location of the fracking. there is a significant barrier to propagation of the fractures.
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it seems to me much less effective in limiting propagation. 100 to 1,000 feet vertically is what i have seen. you still have a considerable amount between [unintelligible] in some other places in new york and ohio, they could be tapped at depths that might be more problematic. >> i wanted to ask you a few questions. i am glad to hear you are looking further into the sources of leakage of gases and where
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they may be coming from. there is a recent study that is getting a lot of attention out in colorado that indicated that emissions from a large field that included a lot of fracking and other oil and gas operations was several times -- thank you. emissions for several times as much as conventional inventories would indicate, and a substantial amount that, some of it was coming from the storage of natural gas liquids associated with these wells, a substantial amount must have been coming from the well itself based upon the composition. that raised the question were specifically of what part of the operations are actually
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responsible for those leaks, which are very important to the greenhouse gas emissions issue. i wonder if you could comment on that. >> we are aware -- i am not aware of anyone in the usgs working on that problem right now. >> maybe i could ask one other question. up in pennsylvania, there was a recent interesting film shown on maryland public tv that talked a lot about pennsylvania. it indicated that people had not been unhappy over the years with natural gas from conventional wells in their backyards, but now many of them are very unhappy about what has happened
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with fracking. part of that is just being an industrial and activity that you pointed out in your presentations about having large pads and lots of trucks going by, etc. i wonder if you could put that in perspective, because if there are many more wells necessary or conventional gas then there would be for fracking, is it simply a question of a lot more potential fracking that is going to go on? they are talking about the possibility of 100,000 wells and they suggested there might be eventually 100,000 fracking wells and pennsylvania, and that has got people quite upset. can you put that in perspective with the impact historically of conventional natural gas wells and why fracking would be so much more concern to people in terms of just land disturbance and industrial activity?
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>> i think it probably has a lot to do with the disturbance, the truck traffic in that kind of thing. those are the things i hear the most about just the amount of congestion and hustle and bustle, truck traffic in that kind of thing. i really cannot answer much more detail. i don't know how to compare the conventional gas versus hydro fracked gas. >> i will add to that that [unintelligible] looking at the total amount disturbances associated with construction of pads, pipelines,
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and roads for wells that are ked.ta i would just say check back in there will be some results on the question that you asked. areas where we have had hardly any hydrocarbon production in the past, the sudden activity is a stark change to what they are accustomed to, not just more truck traffic. in'll find companies come and lisa every room in a hotel, now really changes the dynamics of the area. one aspect of our study looks at socioeconomics, the changing way that committees react to these big industrial and activities. >> my question has to do with
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protection of the shallows. it seems like the well casing is a potential weak link. is there any regulatory recurrence for doing well integrity tests prior to conducting the fracking operations? >> they have increased the requirements for the strengthening of cement, how long it needs to set before you can do any drilling. i don't know the specifics of all that, but there are definitely a lot of regulations about the cement and the casings. >> just a quick question. what type of social mechanism orientation ability to do you find in the induced -- in the
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injected water. is there variability from region to region? >> i am not able to hear you very well. >> i am curious about the variability of the mechanism orientation. >> a good example -- if i heard your question right it was about the variability of the focal
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mechanism? the questions about the consistency of that, in most cases, you do not have been of seismic networks around the induced earthquake activity to be very sure of the orientation of the focal mechanism and its variability around a single injection site. a good example where we do have that information is in arkansas. i did not point this out on the slide that i showed but when you look to this later on monday can go back to it. that fault plane on which all those earthquakes are occurring is both very well defined by the earthquake and the focal mechanisms of all those earthquakes


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